Here's a familiar scene: You sit down to a meal at that hot, new restaurant—you know the one, where getting a table requires putting your name in and then killing an hour or two at the bar across the street. You order, and finally the food arrives, but you have to wait five minutes while your friends Instagram it. Frustrating, yes. But a key to enjoying your meal? Possibly.
A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that people who photograph an enjoyable experience, say a good meal, actually enjoy that experience more. The act of taking a photo increases engagement, according to research. The study compares experiences across a broad range of events like going on a safari or taking a bus tour. As for the food research, it was conducted at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market.
"What we find is you actually look at the world slightly differently, because you're looking for things you want to capture, that you may want to hang onto," Kristin Diehl, who coordinated the study explains to Time. "That gets people more engaged in the experience, and they tend to enjoy it more."
But there's an important caveat: If an experience is negative, taking a photo just makes it worse. So next time you're disappointed by that less-than-perfect piece of avocado toast, just keep your phone in your pocket.
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