Smile - it's selfie time

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 The Sunny Side

Another lively debate at the Rio HQ and we set to work to find out why seeing selfies and images calms us down and makes us feel happy …

Photographs - as a world we’re obsessed with them. Would Facebook be as popular without them? And how would we even plan an event without Pinterest right now?

Are you aware of just how many photos are online or taken every day? Go on, have a guess. 

In 2014 Mary Meeker stunned the world with her Internet Trends report which showed that people uploaded an average of 1.8 billion digital images every single day.

That's 657 billion photos per year!

Another way to think about it: Every two minutes, humans take more photos than ever existed in total 150 years ago. She divulged this information in 2014 and the population has only grown since then.

AOL released an article last year which showed that our obsession with images is expanding. Considering the average lifespan of a human is 27,375 days, an average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies during their lifetime. That's not far off one selfie daily!

Now we’re uploading more and more content online. Whether it’s sharing good memories, getting inspiration for a new room decor, why do images make us smile?

Well, when your eyes see a familiar or pleasing image, it triggers a memory in your brain’s filing system. We’ve literally become a society that documents our days with images. Eric Jaffe sums up the science of this movement in his work The Psychological Study of Smiling 

‘The eyes spot an old friend on the station platform. This emotional data funnels to the brain, exciting the left anterior temporal region in particular, then moves to the surface of the face, where two muscles, standing at attention, are roused into action: The zygomatic major, which resides in the cheek, tugs the lips upward, and the orbicularis oculi, which encircles the eye socket, squeezes the outside corners into the shape of a crow’s foot. The entire event is short — typically lasting from two-thirds of a second to four seconds.’

So if you want to actively make yourself feel happier, stop taking selfies for a moment and instead look through old photographs. You’ll find that seratonin is released in your brain when you do and you will naturally feel happier. But do it properly. Pour yourself a glass of Rio, sit down and go through your images. Then follow our steps above to ensure that you not only create selfies moving forwards, you surround yourself with memories …

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