A social media experiment conducted by researchers in Denmark found logging out of Facebook can make you happier in just one week. Approximately 94 percent of the 1,095 study participants involved visit Facebook every single day. About 61 percent choose to share their good sides on Facebook and 69 percent select great experiences that they can post online.
After dividing them into two groups, one continued to scroll their Facebook feeds while the other group logged out of Facebook for one whole week. The researchers from the Happiness Research Institute in Denmark then asked the participants to rate their 'life satisfaction' from one to 10. Their answers were compared to their pre-experiment ratings.
The group who used social media before the experiment produced a score of 7.67. They carried on and used Facebook and after one week, their score improved to 7.75. As for the group who took a one-week Facebook blackout, the pre-experiment score was 7.56 which increased to 8.12 post-experiment.
Moreover, the participants who logged out of Facebook for seven days were less worried, stressed and lonely compared to the participants who continued to scroll their feeds. The one-week Facebook diet also made them more enthusiastic. When the experiment was over, 88 percent of the people who took the one-week Facebook break reported to being happy compared to the 81 percent of people who didn't take a break.
"Facebook distorts our perception of reality and of what other people's lives really look like. We take into account how we're doing in life through comparisons to everyone else, and since most people only post positive things on Facebook, that gives us a very biased perception of reality," said Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute.
Wiking stressed that the findings would encourage people to rethink how they use the social media app. While there are positive effects of social media, people need to be aware of how it can easily distort one's perception of what is real and what is not. The good news that people see in their friends feeds are simply snippets of what really happens in their lives and shouldn't be a basis of how people evaluate their own life achievements.
The study was published by the Happiness Research Institute.
Photo: Phil Warren | Flickr