A few days ago I took and posted progress pictures of weight loss. It was incredible for my mental health. Profoundly liberating. I think there might actually be a similar benefit to seeing yourself smiling as opposed to just smiling.
I’d be very interested in a study that compares smiling, to smiling in mirrors, to taking and viewing smiling selfies.
“You just want to document everything that you’re doing and send it out to everyone so they can see it,” said Keyler on why taking selfies makes her happy.
Keyler is not alone. Selfie-mania is everywhere, whether you’re an A-list celebrity or just feel like one.
A new selfie study from the University of California-Irvine says taking more smiling selfies increases your chances of happiness.
Forty-one students spent four weeks taking selfies and then reporting their moods. Over time, they noticed an obvious change: They were happier and more confident and that mood lasted the entire day, even when they fake smiled.
“You can engage in the act of being happy,” said USC associate professor Mark Marino.
Marino incorporates selfies into one of his writing classes.
“This kind of self-reflection helps people identify both features, both who they want to see themselves as and who they are communicating themselves to be,” he said.
However, psychologist and UCLA associate professor Yalda Uhls warns too many selfies could be too much of a good thing.
“When we grew up, we took pictures of other people, of places; we reflected out instead of reflecting in,” Uhls said.
So whether you take your selfies with a stick or the old-fashioned way, the key is self-control.
When you take art history and look at the self portraits of an artist you can guage how an artist sees themselves by their brush strokes, the proportions, their use of color etc.
You can catch a tinge of self loathing or an inflated sense of self. Its fascinating and as an artist doing a self portrait is a reflective and meditative experience. Contrast that to whomever is on your Facebook/Instagram feed… What do you think these people are capturing? Do you think there is a hint of reflection about who they are? Can you get a sense of how they feel about themselves?
If your feed looks like mine it’s just the same rehearsed smiles from the same pretty faces who think you care about seeing them as much as you care about the place they are at or the thing they are doing…