Take a break from social media, study urges

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen say we’d all be better off if we quit Facebook.


The study, published on the Happiness Research Institute’s website, followed over a thousand people. These individuals were surveyed about their social media use and well-being– a social science term for life satisfaction and mood.

*Almost all (94%) of the study’s participants admitted they checked Facebook daily.

*78% said they spent half an hour or more on Facebook every day

*On a scale of one to ten, 7.6 was the average life satisfaction score


Those who participated in the study were divided into two groups. One group was to continue their usual social media habits. The other group was assigned to completely abstain from Facebook for the duration of the study– one week. At the end of the study, the participants were once again surveyed about their life satisfaction and mood.

*The Facebook users rated their life satisfaction at 7.75, an increase of 2%. The Facebook quitters rated their life satisfaction at 8.12, an increase of 7%. While this increase may seem small, keep in mind the Facebook quitters’ increase in life satisfaction is over THREE TIMES as great as the Facebook users’ increase!

*The Facebook quitters were all more likely to be happy, enthusiastic, decisive, and to enjoy life. They were also less likely to feel worried, lonely, sad, and angry.

*The Facebook quitters reported greater increases in their social activities AND their satisfaction with their social lives. Unsurprisingly, the jump in satisfaction with their social lives is much larger than that in the participants’ social activities. On Facebook, it looks like everyone is partying all the time. In reality, only Facebook is included in every party.

*The Facebook quitters found it easier to concentrate.

*The Facebook users were 55% more likely to feel stressed and 18% less likely to feel present in the moment.

*The Facebook quitters felt they wasted less time

*The Facebook users were 39% more likely to feel they were less happy than their friends


Not ready to give up Facebook? Post more often, try to be happy for friends’ achievements (and take everything with a grain of salt), and try to spend a little less time logged in. The study found that spending a lot of time on Facebook, scrolling and reading rather than actively engaging, and envying others online made the negative effects much worse.


You can read more about the study here  and here.


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