If you're one of the thousands of people planning on attending Panorama Music Festival in New York City, there's one thing you can count on during the concerts: You're just as likely to see as many raised phones as you are eyes. Everywhere you look, there’ll be a screen. People shoot and post their snaps and videos to social media in real time or immediately after. The practice is so common now that some musicians have banned phones from their concerts altogether.
But it’s not just concerts that people are photographing. Every day, at least 95 million photos and videos are uploaded to Instagram — a number that has been growing steadily for years.
What is all this photographing and posting — rather than simply experiencing — doing to our enjoyment? The answer is complicated, but some studies have shown that taking photos during events can actually make them more fun if you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Taking photos makes you happy, posting on social media does not
When you’re at an event and photographing it to preserve a memory and view the images later, your enjoyment is enhanced. In a number of experiments, Dr. Alixandra Barasch, assistant professor of marketing at NYU School of Business, and her collaborators, Dr. Kristin Diehl of the University of Southern California and Dr. Gal Zauberman of Yale University, found that people reported greater enjoyment of an experience if they took photos while it was happening. The researchers conducted one experiment on a bus tour of Philadelphia.