Researcher Joseph Bayer and his team recruited 154 college students with smartphones and used “experience sampling” to assess their wellbeing by texting them at random times six times a day for two weeks. They were linked to a survey, which contained five questions:
- 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?
They found that interactions on Snapchat were rated as significantly more positive than on Facebook, but on the flip side they are viewed as less supportive. If you’re looking for emotional support, you’re better off texting, calling, speaking to someone face-to-face, or even using Twitter.
It was also found that “self-presentational” concerns are reduced. Users are less likely to overly fret about their appearance because the message has a pretty short lifespan. Bayer wrote, “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.”
Interestingly, participants found that Snapchat is similar to face-to-face interactions because it is less carefully presented and less extravagant than posts on other forms of social media. We're looking at you, Instagram.
So, that’s all good news if you’re an avid Snapper.