Study Finds Snapchat Makes Users Happier Than Other Social Media

Using Snapchat makes you more likely to have a good day compared to using Facebook or other social media, according a study from the University of Michigan.

In fact, the study found that the only interaction more empowering than Snapchat is face-to-face communication. Information, Communication, and Society, an academic journal, published what is thought to be among the earliest known pieces of research looking at how Snapchat affects daily mood.

"On the surface, many people view Snapchat as the 'sexting app,'" U-M researcher Joseph Bayer, the study's lead author, told Michigan News. "But instead, we found that Snapchat is typically being used to communicate spontaneously with close friends in a new and often more enjoyable way. At the same time, Snapchat interactions were perceived as having less social support than other social media. These findings open up important questions about the benefits and costs of different social media."

Basically, Snapchat makes us happy but doesn’t foster deep connections.

The study covered 154 smartphone-owning college students. Bayer and his fellow researchers employed a technique called "experience sampling," a measure of in-the-moment behavior and thought process. In practice, this meant texting participants at six random times a day for two weeks (about the same frequency as a really nightmarish Tinder date).

The texts the students received linked to the following survey:

How negative or positive do you feel right now?
How did your most recent interaction occur?
How pleasant or unpleasant was your most recent interaction?
Within that interaction, how supportive or unsupportive was that person to you?
How close are you to that person?

Though Snapchat interactions were found closer to face-to-face contact than other social media, they were found to be less supportive. Maybe that’s because the interactions aren’t recorded and are typically with closer friends. The ephemeral nature of snaps also means that we don’t have as much time to obsess over how we look in a particular picture — unlike the careful curation present on Facebook and Instagram.

Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, you apparently can’t do better than getting a snap.

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