While most discerning men profess to hate them, the more honest among us would admit to indulging in the occasional selfie – shameless or otherwise. Of course, you don’t need to be Marshall McLuhan to realise that this particular phenomenon is symptomatic of a narcissistic, degenerate culture. But that’s no reason to get too pompous about it – especially when researchers have found that staring at ourselves is not without its benefits.
Scientists at the University of California, Irvine, found that participants who took a daily smiling self-portrait for four weeks experienced significant mood improvements, as well as increased confidence. In better news for the Instagram-phobic, it’s not imperative that you share them all, either.
However, if you’re loath to make use of your iPhone’s reverse function, there’s another way to score a similar mood boost. A third of study subjects were also asked to take a photo of something they believed would bring happiness to another person, then send the snap to them. This group reported feeling calmer and less affected by stress and anxiety throughout the working day.
So next time you find yourself fretting over a presentation or struggling to keep your cool when confronted with an admin onslaught, try WhatsApp-ing a droll photo to a friend or partner. Whether or not you choose to position your face in the foreground is entirely up to you – and somewhat depends on whether you can roll your eyes and smile at the same time. Hashtag? #sorrynotsorry