The Impact of Social Networking Photography and Sharing on Well-Being

Steele, Tomika (2014). The Impact of Social Networking Photography and Sharing on Well-Being Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Steele, Tomika
Thesis Title The Impact of Social Networking Photography and Sharing on Well-Being
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Stephanie Tobin
Total pages 91
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Research has consistently demonstrated that engaging in positive activities such as counting one’s blessings and practicing kindness enhances well-being (Lyubomirsky & Layous, 2013). The aim of the present study was to establish social networking photography and sharing (taking and/or sharing photos on social networking sites) as two potential positive activities that have benefits for well-being. A second objective of the study was to examine trait extraversion as a moderator of this relationship, as extraverts have been shown to reap the most rewards from performing positive activities (Senf & Liau, 2013). To do this, one hundred and ninety-nine participants completed an online questionnaire on Friday and were asked to change their photo taking and/or sharing behaviour over the weekend. Instructions given to participants differed by photo content (social vs. non-social) and sharing (take photos vs. take and share photos online). A control condition was also included which instructed participants not to take or share any photos. Another online questionnaire then assessed participants’ psychological and subjective well-being on Monday. It was hypothesised that taking social photos would increase well-being and that sharing these photos on social networking sites would strengthen these effects. It was also predicted that extraverts would experience the greatest improvements to well-being when taking and/or sharing social photos. Whilst the results largely indicated that taking social photos did not affect well-being, extraverts did feel that their life had more meaning when they took social photos. Contrary to predictions, sharing photos online led to decreases in life satisfaction, with extraverts who shared photos also experiencing decreases in positive affect. These results suggest that social networking photography and sharing may not be positive activities, however, more research is needed to improve upon the methodological issues that may have limited the study’s ability to find effects.
Keyword Social networking sites
Well being

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Created: Thu, 30 Apr 2015, 15:56:00 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology