While claims of a mass exodus from Facebook seem to circulate every few months, this is often blamed on increased numbers of people attempting to escape their parents’ friend requests by fleeing to other networks. However, the shift could be caused by something simpler overall. One study has concluded that Snapchat users just feel happier than they do with other social media apps such as Facebook, and it isn’t for the reasons you’re thinking.
University of Michigan researchers found in a recent study, that when it comes to experiencing the most rewarding interactions, Snapchat follows right behind face-to-face meetups. Although initially believed to be a social app designed exclusively to give young people an avenue for sexting and temporarily sharing nude photos with each other, it is now commonly used to communicate and interact with close friends. Since its early days of being considered a hook-up app, Snapchat has grown into a force that CEO Evan Spiegel reported earlier this year, is home to 100 million daily active users per day.
The recent study of 154 college students who use smartphones appeared in Information, Communication & Society, and is one of the first studies to analyze social media platforms and how they affect our daily moods. The participants’ well-being was assessed based on texts sent at random times throughout the day for two weeks. Text messages included survey questions such as, “How negative or positive do you feel right now?” and “How pleasant or unpleasant was your most recent interaction?” The study analyzed the responses and determined that users were happier and experienced more positive emotions interacting on Snapchat than on Facebook.
Regarding feelings of support, however, Snapchat interactions were considered less supportive than interactions on Twitter, texting, email, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings.
With recent data by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology indicating a link between Facebook and other mental health problems, we might find ourselves not only healthier but also happier spending more time on Snapchat.