This is Why You Should Quit Facebook For One Week

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Psychologists tested the effect of a week-long break from Facebook on people’s mental health. Here’s what they found.

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It’s called ‘Taking-A-Week-Off-Facebook’.

The ‘treatment’ is based on a study by the Happiness Research Institute, which is a Danish think-tank.

They split 1,095 regular Facebook users into two groups.

One kept on using the social networking site as normal for the week while the other group simply stopped.

After the week, people in the ‘treatment’ group reported all sorts of miraculous improvements:

  • A better social life.
  • Finding it easier to concentrate.
  • Being in a better mood.
  • Wasting less time.

Instead of using Facebook, people found better things to do: they talked to each other, they called their family, they felt much calmer.

So, what is it that Facebook is doing to us?

Part of the reason for feeling better after a week of avoiding Facebook could be down to Facebook envy.

Because people tend to only post their best moments to Facebook, it’s like a highlights reel.

Reviewing other people’s best moments (rather than your own) all the time can give you a sinking feeling, as the study’s authors found:

“5 out of 10 envy the amazing experiences of others posted on Facebook.

1 out of 3 envy how happy other people seem on Facebook.

4 out of 10 envy the apparent success of others on Facebook.”

When we are continually comparing our own experiences with other people’s highlights, it makes us feel inadequate.

Next stage for the researchers at the Happiness Institute is get people to give up Facebook for a whole year.

Facebook image from Shutterstock

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Published: 23 November 2015

Text: © All rights reserved.

Images: Creative Commons License