Instagramming Brunch Will Literally Make You Happier

Everyone hates people who photograph their brunches.

Even when you’re dining at some of the best brunch places in Los Angeles, New York, or anywhere else in America, it’s customary to make snide remarks about the people excitedly snapping away with their iPhones a few tables over. But a new study shows that the brunch photographer is way happier than the person hating on him or her.

The study, published June 6 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is entitled “How Taking Photos Increases Enjoyment of Experiences” and is basically a manifesto for why we should all be taking Snap stories of every waking moment. The study argues that by taking photos we become more in tune with the activity, therefore intensifying our experiences of it.

“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,” study author Kristin Diehl tells Time. “That gets people more engaged in the experience, and they tend to enjoy it more.”

The psychologists conducted nine experiments involving 2,000 participants. Those participants were studied during activities like eating at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, on a museum trip, taking a tour on a bus, and during a simulated safari. Half the participants took photographs, the other half did not. The happy experiences, like eating at the farmer's market, got happier, the upsetting ones, like watching a pair of lions eating a water buffalo, got more upsetting as well.

So it’s not like you can whip out your phone and start taking pictures to make your parents divorce seem like a day at the botanical gardens, but you can make that experience a more memorable and lasting one.

Interestingly, Diehl says that just thinking about taking photos has the same effect.

“If you want to take mental photos, that works the same way,” Diehl tells Time. “Thinking about what you would want to photograph also gets you more engaged.”

Well, that settles it. If you don’t want to look like a big jerk at brunch, but want to burn it into your memory, just take out your mental camera and start taking mental pictures. It helps if you hold up your fingers in a square and make camera shutter noises while you’re doing it. (They didn’t write that, but just trust us.)

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