December 30, 2016
Looking for a New Year's resolution that will boost your happiness in 2017? Take a social media detox.
A recent study on the well-being of Facebook users found that taking just one week off of the social media platform significantly improved participants' happiness.
The study, published in November in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, evaluated a little more than 1,000 Facebook users who varied on how active or passive they were on the social media site. An active user, for example, posts and comments often, while a passive user simply scrolls through the newsfeed.
Researchers then had half of the study participants quit Facebook for one week while the other half continued using the site as usual.
What the researchers found was that just a week hiatus improved participants' well-being and overall satisfaction toward their lives, with significantly greater benefits for the heavy Facebook users.
Previous studies have also shown Facebook and similar social media networks may have negative effects on users, including a link to depression, but this is the first known study to look at how even a short break can help reverse some potential damage.