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Taking a Break From Facebook Linked to Better Emotional Well-being, Satisfaction with Life

Dec 21, 2016 08:04 AM EST
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Having some occasional break from Facebook might be beneficial for your emotional well-being and satisfaction in life.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Previous studies have shown that regular use of Facebook can negatively affect the emotional well-being and life satisfaction of its users. Due to this, people might think that quitting the social media platform is the best way to regain our spirits.

However, a new study based on an experiment involving more than 1,000 participants revealed that having some occasional break from Facebook might be beneficial for your emotional well-being and satisfaction in life.

The study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, showed that simple changes in social networking behavior and occasional break from Facebook could mitigate some of the negative effects of the social media platform in your well-being and may also lift your spirits.

"Confirming previous research, this study found that 'lurking' on Facebook may cause negative emotions," said Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium, in a press release. However, on the bright side, as previous studies have shown, actively connecting with close friends, whether in real life or on Facebook, may actually increase one's sense of well-being."

For the study, University of Copenhagen researcher Morten Tromholt, MSc conducted a one-week experiment involving 1,095 participants living in Denmark. The participants underwent a pretest and were randomly divided into two groups. Participants in the first group will stop using Facebook for a week. On the other hand, the second group will continue to use Facebook as usual and served as the control. Reports on the negative effects of Facebook used on overall well-being were based on life satisfaction and emotions.

Tromholt observed that the participants who take a one week break from Facebook have statistically significant improvement in their well-being. However, the positive effects of temporarily quitting Facebook vary depending on the amount of time each participant previously spent on Facebook. The participants' passiveness and tendency to be envious of other Facebook users might also influence the positive effect of takeing a break from Facebook.

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