Using Photography for Everyday Well-being
Taking one photograph a day is good for your health:
Interest in the connection between involvement in digital communities and well-being has increased as these communities become more commonplace. Specific models of interaction that affect well-being have emerged; here, we examine one of those models, termed ‘digital daily practice’. Digital daily practices involve a commitment to doing one thing – exercise, photography and writing – every day and sharing it online. Participants in these practices agree that they provide an unexpected benefit of improving well-being. This article makes an in-depth examination of one digital daily practice, photo-a-day, using a practice theory framework to understand the affordances it offers for well-being. We engage with the literature on well-being and self-care, critiquing its presentation of well-being as an individual trait. We present data from an ethnographic study including interviews and observations to highlight how photo-a-day as a practice functions as self-care and how communities are formed around it. Photo-a-day is not a simple and uncomplicated practice; rather it is the complex affordances and variance within the practice that relate it to well-being. We conclude that this practice has multi-faceted benefits for improving well-being.
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