What can photographs tell us about levels of joy? Shutterfly, a free online photo-sharing Web site, has set out to answer this question by focusing on a Web count of the most joyous cities in America. In its recent ranking, Santa Barbara came in at number 9.
The top 10 joyous cities in America are calculated by way of photo-sharing per city. New York City ranks at number 1 with about 20 more photos shared than S.B. We’re talking scores of 133 for New York City versus 113 for Santa Barbara.
The more pictures posted, the more competitive your city is on the Shutterfly Joy Meter. The data is a combination of Experian Simmons Local data (births, weddings, and graduations) and site usage data from Shutterfly. The index scores for each category are based on a category average score of 100 with the Joy Score being the average of all four categories. Shutterfly’s thinking is that more photos indicate more joy because when you’re happy, you tend to take more pictures.
Shutterfly surveyed 1,000 people to gain some foundation on what people think about the tie between memories and photographs. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said that photographs of happy moments are valuable. Shutterfly also found that the sample of people surveyed are no longer sharing as many valuable memories on social networks like Facebook. “Some images deserve more than just a ‘like’ on Facebook,” explained Heather Maddan, the chief storyteller for Shutterfly.
While both Web sites offer the option of sharing photos, Shutterfly is predominantly used to share personal photos. Facebook is more focused on sharing small verbal tidbits but still provides a place where people can share moments in their lives through photography. In the Shutterfly survey, 42 percent said they felt guilty for not trying harder at preserving memories of joyful occasions.