I know, I know. For all social media’s positive traits (instant shopping, a fountain of inspiration, and just general entertainment) it potentially has more negative ones—kind of like an old best-friend that you can’t get let go of (even though you know you should). And now, According to a new study conducted by The Journal of Social Psychology, taking a vacation from Facebook can help to significantly reduce your stress levels.
In the study, 138 active Facebook users were either required to give up Facebook for five days, or continue as normal. Based on the cortisol levels—which can be measured via your salvia, who knew?—those who took a time-out measured lower levels of stress. However, what is perhaps more interesting is the fact that users also reported having “lower feelings of well-being.”
It kind of makes sense, right? Social media platforms have morphed into more than just an avenue of connection, also becoming our curated news feed, event space and of course, central meme destination. So it’s not a strange notion that it gives us a sense of FOMO when we're not on it. And apparently that’s exactly the problem. In the study, the abstract suggests that this influx of information could be the primary cause for our cortisol increase: "Our results suggest that the typical Facebook user may occasionally find the large amount of social information available taxing, and Facebook vacations could ameliorate this stress—at least in the short-term."
For more, read the full study, and read digital detox book, OFF. ($10) for more pointers on logging off.