You may have already come to the conclusion that Facebook was having a damaging impact upon your mental health, what with the relentless photos of your friends and acquaintances smiling and doing things you wish you were doing (rarely do people upload photos of their negative life experiences, for obvious reasons), the frequent disturbing news reports (and, unfortunately, videos) that are shared among your friends, and other such depressing activities you indulge in whenever you log in to the social networking site. However, a new study has discovered that results collected from a particularly large test group suggest that quitting Facebook can actually make you happier, and significantly reduce your stress levels, too.
The study, conducted by the Happiness Research Institute, took a test group of 1,095 frequent Facebook users and then divided them into two separate groups, with the “control group” being allowed Facebook access on a daily basis for the duration of a week, while the “treatment group” was not allowed to access the site over the same period of time. After the 7 days, researchers asked the two groups if they felt “happy,” with 81% of the control group saying that they did, in comparison with the 88% who reported that they were happy in the treatment group.
Results from the study also revealed how 41% of those in the treatment group felt worried as opposed to the 54% in the control group, while the treatment group also felt more enthusiastic, more decisive, less angry and less lonely.
But the biggest change discovered by the Institute using the study was that frequent Facebook users are 55% more likely to feel stressed, noting how 5 out of 10 Facebook users “envy the amazing experiences posted by others,” 1 out 3 “envy how happy other people seem” on Facebook, and 4 out of 10 “envy the apparent success of others” on the social networking site.
The Happiness Research Institute noted how Facebook serves as a “constant flow of edited lives which distorts our perception of reality,” adding “instead of focusing on what we need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have.”