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Why Do People Post Pictures Of Food?

paneed pasta
Photo by Steve Wiley

The old saying, “You are what you eat” is apparently true in more ways than we realize.  People have multiple reasons for choosing what they eat, including comfort and self-validation. Pre-meal “rituals” make our food taste better.  Having “Happy Birthday” sung to you in a restaurant heightens the anticipation of digging into birthday cake. Clinking glasses before drinking a toast, and rubbing chopsticks together make dining a more emotionally gratifying experience.

The widespread popularity of social media has taken this to a new level. When you’re scanning Facebook, or Instagram, you may not care to see photos of other people’s meals. The food pornographers among us derive an emotional gratification from snapping a pic with their smartphones  and posting them online. Experts say these rituals pique our attention and heighten our involvement with the experience of eating, which makes us enjoy it more.

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