The way in which we socialise has changed dramatically since the internet has grown. Good old fashioned face to face contact is now challenged by online networks such as Facebook. After all, once upon a time, you didn’t have the option to see what your friends were doing via a screen, you actually had to meet them to find out.
Facebook has continued to grow, many are questing how useful it is for people. Past research points towards increased depression and narcissism as a result of using Facebook.
A new study was recently published, fresh out of Sweden. The mission was to determine if quitting Facebook for a small period of time would make people feel happier or more depressed.
Happiness Research Institute are a Denmark think-thank, they were tasked with enrolling over 1,000 individuals within the age group of 16 to 76. Over 90 percent were daily users of Facebook.
The participants were challenged to see how satisfied they were before the study. This included how often they compared themselves to others, how well they could concentrate, and how satisfied they were with their social life. Two groups were then formed, half continued to use Facebook and the other half didn’t.
The results showed that 88 percent of those who ditched using Facebook claimed they felt “happy” and 81 percent of those who continued to use Facebook claimed to be “happy”. What did this show? It showed that those who stopped using the social network felt better than those who didn’t. What’s more, those who stopped were said to feel less lonely, worried and more enthusiastic.
It’s not the first study to point towards the negative effects that Facebook can have on people, and it won’t be the last. Perhaps it’s time to quit the giant network and go back to more natural ways of communication? That’s for you to decide.