Why do we prefer images than texts?

An English idiom suggests that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It can be easily said that a meaning of a picture can be expressed in more than one word. Moreover, it is approved that humans react more easily to pictures than texts. Images have the ability to transmit emotions as well. Consequently, at social networks users have stopped writing posts and instead they tend to upload photographs to express themselves. But which are the main reasons of uploading a photo?

To begin with, “from a purely neurological point of view, the fact is that looking at an image can help our brains absorb large and complicated amounts of data in a quicker way than reading text.” (Shah, 2014).  In case where images are used to tell a story people mostly stare at the photo rather than reading the whole text. The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the insight, whereas the left is connected to the thought.

Secondly, according to many photographer’s people use to take photographs in order to capture their memories. How many times have we just click on something that we like? And how many times have we taken photographs in order to capture the moment? Photography give us the possibility to freeze the moment. The convenience of taking pictures daily is due to the rise of technology. Just with a mobile phone in our hands we can take a picture. Nonetheless, the new smartphones have transferred the network in our pockets since most of them support internet connection. The great amount of applications that have released (such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook) give us the possibility to share the pictures with our friends. Statistics have shown that 1.8 billion of photos are uploaded every day.  As a result, friend of us who live abroad can see our picture and what we liked.

Lastly, it is believed that uploads of photographs can increase the visibility of a site. “Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images”. (Hutchings, 2016). The main reason for this is the algorithm the social networks uses. Specifically, Facebook uses EdgeRank algorithm to determine the posts to show at the newsfeed.  Affinity score, weight and time are elements that are measured.  Affinity score is referred to the strength of relationship according to user’s interaction. Weight element is about the weight of the post. Just a press of a like button weights less than an upload of a picture. As a result, people who usually upload images have a higher affinity score and their website has a bigger visibility than other users who don’t post.


What can a post reveal about a user’s character?


-By Anna Pavlou


Stay tuned…



Hutchings, T. (2016, November 28). http://www.linkedin.com. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/use-picture-its-worth-thousand-words-thea-hutchings

Shah, A. (2014, July 2). http://www.shutterstock.com/. Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/why-we-prefer-pictures-its-the-way-that-youre-wired

(Pring, n.d.)


One thought on “Why do we prefer images than texts?

  1. Photos are moments and moments are memories and memories are feelings…and in our lives, feelings are what make us humans. As you said Anna, one picture worth a thousand words. People, have evolved through the years and created better and better cameras so they can have the best quality for the best moments. We prefer pictures, because the make us feel something. It’s the moment, which triggers us to take a picture. There are moments which we experience only once in our lives and we want to capture the moment “so that it can live and move you forever” (Shulman, 2014). The hashtag #beautyiseverywhere is one of the most popular ones on Instagram when it comes to pictures about nature, buildings, cities, art, humans etc. People express themselves better through pictures than words. How many times have you tried to explain something but then you just gave up and said “ok, let me show you”? I bet millions. We use the pictures to tell a story, to explain, to make our voice be heard. ActionAid for example, is now using 360-photos in order to show how people live in drought condition, to show the whole picture instead of one side of it. Strong images, can create feelings and emotions, and ultimately result in to action, especially when it comes to volunteering or donations. A lot of NGO’s, use strong images in order to depict the level of severity in a situation or to ask for help. So, let’s show, not tell.

    -By Vicky Krommyda


    Actionaid, (2017). Drought 360. Retrieved from https://www.actionaid.org.uk/schoolresources/slideshow/8587

    Shulman M., (2014). Why we take pictures. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monica-shulman/why-we-take pictures_b_6009434.html


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