Science Says Taking A Break From Facebook Will Make You Happier

Maybe it's time to try logging off? Even if only for a week?

Science Says Taking A Break From Facebook Will Make You Happier

by Stevie Martin |
Published on

Yet another study has found that taking time away from Facebook improves happiness - which begs the question: 'Why am I still so dependant on it?'. Said while I have not one, but three Facebook tabs open – one for stalking a friend I haven't seen in ages who has gone travelling (I am so jealous I want to cry), one for stalking someone I quite fancy (I'm pining) and one for looking at the general News Feed. Someone I don't know just got married. Cool.

Researchers in Denmark looked at nearly 2,000 Facebook users between 16 and 76 – not an exhaustive amount, sure – and split them into two groups: half were given access to the site, half went cold Facebook turkey. Those who went on a break felt 55% less stressed and, after having ranked their life satisfaction levels, saw it increase from an average of 7.56 to 8.12 overall.

'We look at a lot of data on happiness and one of the things that often comes up is that comparing ourselves to our peers can increase dissatisfaction,' Meik Wiking, the chief exec of the Happiness Research Institute told *The Guardian. '*Facebook is a constant bombardment of everyone else's great news, but many of us look out of the window ad see grey skies and rain, especially in Denmark. This makes the Facebook world, where everyone's showing their best side, seem even more distortedly bright by contrast, so we wanted to see what happened when users took a break.'

*The Guardian *also spoke to a participant who had gone cold turkey, and she basically waxed lyrical about the experience: 'When I woke up, even before getting out of bed, I'd open Facebook on my phone just to check if something exciting or important had happened during the night,' she said, which is probably ringing a few bells right now. 'After a few days, I noticed my to-do list was getting done faster than normal as I spent my time more productively. I also felt a sort of calmness from not being confronted by Facebook all the time.'

From the On This Day feature (we don't want to know how old we've got, thanks) to the constant barrage of people doing better than you, it's unsurprising that a Facebook cleanse means an emotional/mental cleanse. And a good one, at that.

The best thing is, you can try this out without being part of a study in Denmark. Why not try logging off for a week, and see how your life satisfaction improves? I won't be doing this just yet because I've got a lot of stalking to do, but let me know how it goes (!).

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Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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