You can stop refreshing your Twitter feed, backstalking yourself on Facebook, and scrolling ever-so-carefully through your ex's current girlfriend's first Instagrams 133 weeks ago.
Because, according to a new study, none of those social media platforms make you happier than Snapchat does.
Researchers at the University of Michigan assessed how 154 college students used their smartphones and found that the most "rewarding" communication — second to face-to-face interactions — happened through Snapchat.
"On the surface, many people view Snapchat as the 'sexting app,'" Joseph Bayer, the study's lead author and a researcher at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. "But instead, we found that Snapchat is typically being used to communicate spontaneously with close friends in a new and often more enjoyable way."
For the study, which is the first of its kind, Bayer and his team employed a technique called "experience sampling," a measure of in-the-moment behavior and thought process. This involved asking students throughout the day how they felt about using social media with questions like, "How pleasant or unpleasant was your most recent interaction?" and "Within that interaction, how supportive or unsupportive was that person to you?"
The researchers found that interactions on Snapchat were "associated with more positive emotions than Facebook and other social technologies," but were also viewed as less "supportive" than other forms of communication, including Twitter, texting, and email.
They believe it all comes down to the authentic nature of what’s sent on Snapchat — like documenting your painfully long layover, for example — versus the carefully crafted content people tend to share on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
“Since Facebook has become a space for sharing crafted big moments such as babies, graduations, and birthdays, Snapchat seems to provide users with a distinct space for sharing the small moments,” Bayer explained. “It’s easy to get caught up in Facebook-induced FOMO, but Snaps of ‘mundane’ things like sitting in the car (parked, I hope) are more relatable, more likely to make you feel understood than make you feel alienated.”
So, carry on making bizarre faces at your phone in public. Whatever makes you happy.
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