Technology with attitude

Using Facebook Leaves You Unhappy, Study Reveals

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Facebook is the most used social media website in the world, with an approximate user base of over 1.5 billion people.

While the company says that its sole mission is to turn the world into a “more open and connected” place in a bid to help the users of the platform “stay connected with their friends and family”, there is a new study report that says otherwise about this platform.

According to a new study by the Copenhagen Happiness Research Institute known as “The Facebook Experiment”, it seems quitting Facebook might just be what you need to stay less stressed and happier. The research studied the behaviors of people after they were asked to stay away from using Facebook for a week.

The study took into account 1,095 participants where 94% said they usually visit Facebook on a daily basis, with a massive 80% claiming that they use the service for more than 30 minutes every day. There were two groups involved in the study, one kept on using Facebook and the other acted as a “control group”, not using the app for a week.

According to the study results, the control group exhibited a “significantly higher degree of life satisfaction”. People from this group revealed that they were feeling a lot happier, less sad and lonely when compared to the group that kept on using Facebook as usual. In addition, the treatment group also reported an increased level of social activity and better satisfaction with their general social life.

Other interesting findings have also been made by the study; for instance, people who quit Facebook felt less stressed and their concentration on tasks improved greatly.

A reason to be skeptical about the study

Even though the Happiness Research Institute has, with no doubt, made some amazing discoveries about Facebook and its usage, there still room to remain a bit skeptical about the findings and any other implications.

One thing to note is that those who were part of the control group only abstained from using Facebook for a week, which is of course a very short period of time to base conclusions on. Taking a one week break from using Facebook is a lot different from quitting the platform for a lifetime. In short, this study only takes care of the short-term effects of leaving Facebook and it is possible that the same people would be missing a thing or two after a month or two of not using the platform.

More studies need to be carried out and on a longer term basis, in order to find the right mix between online and physical social lives.