Nature on Social Media

Kornél Máhl on Unsplash

I’ve been getting much of my nature fix at home watching movies, reading, and following social media. There’s also some evidence that virtual nature experiences can have a positive effect on your mood.

What can social media tell us about people’s experience with nature and happiness? A recent study has tried to answer this question. Read my post if you’d like to learn more.

I’ve found that seeing others posts and pictures of nature to be a welcome break from much of the other news. It also has me looking towards more outdoor activities in the future.

How Is Nature Portrayed on Social Media?

A recent study in the journal Scientific Reports examined the how nature images in social media may be related to happiness.

The researchers searched Flickr first for images tagged as nature. People’s activities in the images were also identified such as ordinary routines, vacations, or weddings. The location of the pictures were also obtained by country and compared to country level measures of national happiness.

The study included over 31,000 pictures from 185 different countries.

Nature pictures appeared more frequently in activities like vacations and honeymoons when compared to pictures of daily routine activities.

Photographs involving nature and fun activities were also more common from countries with higher national happiness scores.

What does this study tell us?

Overall people tend to associate pictures of nature with fun activities – that’s probably not surprising. A greater number of fun nature pictures come from happier countries.

This study doesn’t prove that nature causes happiness. However, other studies show that nature is associated with greater feelings of well-being and better mood. It also fits with my own experience. I generally find that images of nature on social media to be both positive and enjoyable and contribute to my own happiness.

So please keep sharing your fun nature pictures on social media, you might be making the world a happier place!

Please feel free to leave a comment or email me at info@naturebrain.com.

I’ll be sharing a post next week on how we can get the most out of indoor nature activities until we can get back outdoors as much as we’d like.

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