Taking a break from THIS can do wonders for your happiness
Honestly now: How many times do you check Facebook every day (or Instagram of Twitter for that matter)?
To many of us, our social media profiles have become the first thing we check upon waking in the morning, before even saying hello and good morning to our partners or housemates. And likewise, at night, the last thing we do before falling asleep is stare into our phone screens, looking at updates and selfies and snaps.
The thing is, all this distorted reality might be harming your actual real-life happiness, according to a recent study.
Researchers in Denmark conducted a study that revealed that even as little as a week away from Facebook could increase life satisfaction and significantly reduce stress.
Scientists from the Danish Happiness Research Institute divided a group of 1,095 daily Facebook users, aged from 16-76, into two groups, where one group was given access to the site and the other switched-off completely for a week.
“Facebook is a constant bombardment of everyone else’s great news, but many of us look out of the window and see grey skies and rain,” Meik Wiking, CEO of the Institute, tells The Guardian. “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.”
And get this: Participants who abstained from Facebook for a week reported increased happiness and reduced stress.
Prior and following the experiment, participants were asked to rate their “life satisfaction” out of 10, and commented on how active their social lives were, how good they felt their concentration was and if they compared themselves to others.
The resulting report, The Facebook Experiment: Does social media affect the quality of our lives? revealed that 55% of the group who abstained from the site reported feeling less stressed after the week was over. Additionally, 88% of the group described themselves as ‘happy’, compared with 81% of the other group.
Those who abstained from Facebook also reported higher life appreciation, richer social lives and fewer difficulties in concentration, than those who continued to check their newsfeeds.