In the age of smartphones and posting literally everything we do on social media, we've all been there when we get frustrated with a friend who is taking photos of a meal or scenery just to post about it, rather than actually enjoying the experience.
But our social media crazed friends may be on to something. While it makes sense that we should appreciate the world for its natural beauty, and not through a camera lens, we might not be as engaged in the moment as we would have hoped, at least according to a new study.
Kristin Diehl, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and a team of researchers set out to prove that taking photos with your smartphone actually improves the experience.
Diehl said, "What we find is you actually look at the world slightly differently, because you’re looking for things you want to capture, that you may want to hang onto. That gets people more engaged in the experience, and they tend to enjoy it more."
Her findings were published in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology." When you pull out your smartphone to take pictures of whatever is happening around you, you become more invested in the moment, making the memory that much more precious. Then it freezes the moment in time forever so you can go back and enjoy it time and time again. It applies whether you're at an amusement park with your friends or simply sight seeing at a museum.
This isn't the only win lately for our new digital lifestyle. Just last week we told you about the study from the University of California that discovered the positive effect "Likes" and shares have on our brains. Click here to see more of the study's surprising findings. But you also should remember that experts are growing more concerned that our dependency on technology is actually becoming an addiction. Take this quiz to see if you're bordering on the edge of an Internet addiction yourself.
In the meantime, if you happen to be a Snapchat or Instagram addict, count today's news as a win. The next time a friend gives you grief for taking too many pictures, just tell them, "Not only am I living in the moment, but I'll now be able to relive this moment for many years to come."