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<ul><li><p>@InstagramStudy The meaning for posting the photo was that I missed my big sister and was homesick it </p><p>captured our relationship and the embrace that we first had when she saw me for the first time that trip, I </p><p>wanted to share that feeling with my sister and let her know I missed her a lot</p><p>Background</p><p>The rise of social media and networking sites has exposed us to new ways to engage in social interactions online. Studies on larger social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have demonstrated that our society has entered an era of mobile social networking as 63% of our time spent on the internet is now spent using social networking sites (Bergstrm, &amp; Bckman, 2013). </p><p>Instagram is a social networking site that uses photo-sharing as its main form of communication. The site allows users to create a mobile account to upload and share photos with other users who follow them. Although it is a relatively new site, Instagram has produced a significant online community consisting of 130 million active users, who share over 60 million photos daily (Abbott, Donaghey, Hare, &amp; Hopkins, 2013; Bakhshi, Shamma, &amp; Gilbert, 2014).</p><p>Anyone from famous celebrities or large institutions, to small businesses can create an account; Instagram has proven to be crucial part of having a social media presence. McMaster Universitys own account (pictured above) has 6628 followers, to date. </p><p>Purpose</p><p>The purpose of this research was to explore the emotional experiences associated with observing photos of people on Instagram, in an attempt to answer the following:</p><p> Are there common or typical emotional reactions to seeing a photo of a person on Instagram? </p><p> Are there trends in the meaning behind users posting a picture of a person and/or of themselves on Instagram? </p><p> How do people use Instagram compared to other Social Networking Sites? </p><p>Methodology </p><p>Approval for this study was granted by the McMaster Student Research Ethics Board following a review of the literature. </p><p>Recruitment was completed by distributing information about the study to active Instagram users via email. Participants were invited to submit six photos from Instagram that all contained images of people; three from their own accounts, and three photos that they had liked from another account</p><p>Questionnaires consisting of both closed and open-ended questions were given to participants, inquiring about their time spent on Instagram and asking them to explain their emotions and feelings toward each individual photo.</p><p>Analysis of the data included both quantitative and qualitative methods </p><p>References</p><p>Abbott, W., Donaghey, J., Hare, J., &amp; Hopkins, P. (2013). An Instagram is worth a thousand words: An industry panel and audience Q&amp;A. Library Hi Tech News, 30(7), 1-6.</p><p>Bergstrm, T., &amp; Bckman, L. (2013). Marketing and PR in Social Media: How the utilization of Instagram builds and maintains customer relationships.</p><p>Fox, J., Osborn, J. L., &amp; Warber, K. M. (2014). Relational dialectics and social networking sites: The role of Facebook in romantic </p><p>relationship escalation, maintenance, conflict, and dissolution. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 527-534.</p><p>Gonzales, A. L., &amp; Hancock, J. T. (2011). Mirror, mirror on my Facebook wall: Effects of exposure to Facebook on self-esteem. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 14(1-2), 79-83.</p><p>Stone, A. A., Sheese, B. E., Brown, E. L., &amp; Graziano, W. G. (2004). Emotional expression in cyberspace: Searching for moderators of the pennebaker disclosure effect via E-mail. Health Psychology, 23(5), 457-464. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.23.5.457</p><p>@InstagamStudy I genuinely love Instagram and its probably my favourite form of social media. I love </p><p>pictures and to be able to edit them and post them on your account makes a photo album of important </p><p>moments in your life. </p><p>Results </p><p>Discussion &amp; Limitations </p><p>Themes and Findings </p><p> The findings suggest that posting a photo of someone is valued as a significant form of connecting with them; supporting previously mentioned trends that identify the ways in which online communications are replacing face-to-face interactions. </p><p> Participants suggested that the use of filters helps to create an ideal portrayal of themselves that is appealing to other users; some participants described posting a specific photo because it made them feel trendy or in-style with what was popular during that time.</p><p> Due to the nature of this project; fulfilling the requirements of an undergraduate thesis; limitations of this study included the use of a small sample size; future studies of this kind can utilize a greater portion of Instagrams ever-growing online community.</p><p>Meanings and Emotions Associated with Photos of People on InstagramBrittany Bates &amp; Gavin Andrews</p><p>Department of Health, Aging and Society</p><p>@InstagramStudy I wanted to share this photo on my Instagram account because I thought it was a very nice photo of my group of friends and I wanted to display that. Almost like a sense of pride thing; these are my </p><p>friends and its always a good time</p><p>Photos Collected Participants submitted a total of 42 photos; the majority of the photos were of friends and family members, while a significant portion were also of celebrities. </p><p>Common Feelings and Emotions The image below shows the most common words used by participants to describe each of the submitted photos. The emotions varied based on who was in the photo; the most popular word to describe a photo of any person was Happy</p><p>Meaning For Posting Photos The most common response for why an individual posted a photo was to remember a fun or positive experience that was shared with another individual or group of people.</p><p>Use of Filters? The majority of participants claimed to use filters when posting their photos, in order to: give a photo an artistic edge over an unedited photo, enhance overall appearance of the photo, and hide imperfections; make yourself, or the people in the photo, look better</p><p>Thoughts Toward Instagram Most participants claimed to enjoy Instagram as a way to connect with others and share memories. Others also shared that they enjoy looking at other accounts for inspiration or entertainment, as well as to follow what is happening in the lives of others.</p><p>Themes From the Literature </p><p>@InstagramStudy Appreciated Looking at this photo reminds me of how my boyfriend feels about me and how </p><p>our actions within the photo display our relationship together.</p><p>Social Interactions Online Social media sites like Instagram have become a main channel of communication. Online interactions are replacing face-to-face interactions and influencing how we create and maintain social relationships</p><p>Self-Presentation Online users are given the power to carefully choose and control which aspects of their life they want to emphasize, or display to other users</p><p>Discussions of Health Trends suggest that interactions over social media may be affecting aspects of mental health such as; self-esteem, social isolation, and emotional well-being. </p><p>instagramstudy</p><p>Sharing memories Most participants identified the reason for posting a photo to be to share a </p><p>memory or experience. While most were positive experiences, some photos were shared due to missing someone; participants expressed that by posting a photo of or with that individual, it helped to make them feel connected to them. </p><p>Self-Presentation Participants claimed that they enjoyed being able to share specific photos of </p><p>themselves because they liked how they looked in a photo. Furthermore, judging ones own appearance commonly came first before looking at the other individuals in a photo. </p><p>Top 5 Words Used to Describe Photos of:</p><p>Family Friends PartnerSelf </p><p>(Individual)Celebrity</p><p>Combination</p><p>(the self with another</p><p>person or persons)</p><p>Happy</p><p>Love</p><p>Closeness</p><p>Amazed</p><p>Adoration</p><p>Happy</p><p>Excitement </p><p>Sad/Regret </p><p>Joy </p><p>Happy </p><p>Pride</p><p>Loved</p><p>Supported</p><p>Trust</p><p>Pride</p><p>Satisfied</p><p>Happy </p><p>Happy</p><p>Jealousy</p><p>Excitement</p><p>Funny</p><p>Motivational/</p><p>Inspired</p><p>Happy </p><p>Excitement</p><p>Closeness</p><p>Nostalgia/Pride/Cheerful</p><p>/Joy </p></li></ul>