Confession: I’ve never really been that into Facebook. I log on maybe once a week–and oftentimes I’m disappointed that I decided to click over. Seeing a handsome old flame with his current girlfriend at a rooftop bar in Dubai does not make my day better. So I wasn’t that shocked to learn of a new study that says quitting Facebook for just one week will make you happier. Glamour reported the Happiness Research Institute’s findings, which looked at 1095 Facebook users’ daily routines. Half of the group took a week off the social media site while the other half continued to use Facebook as normal.
“Those who used Facebook were more likely to feel angry (20 percent vs. 12 percent), more likely to feel lonely (25 percent vs. 16 percent), and more likely to feel sad (34 percent vs. 22 percent),” writes Marissa Gold. The people who didn’t use Facebook had more time to connect with loved ones in real life, and they didn’t have to deal with the negative consequences of social media. “Five out of ten people envy the amazing experiences of others posted on Facebook, which can create an inferiority complex or a fear of missing out. Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have,” says Gold. If you’ve been feeling down, perhaps you should consider taking a break from the site.
To learn more about how social media affects our minds and emotions, read Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows.
Does Facebook ever make you sad? Tell us about it in the comments.