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Danish #Study Reveals Increase in #Happiness For #Facebook Quitters

Mashable
It's difficult to know how accurate a survey with a relatively small sample scale can really be for revealing the world at large, particularly with regards to a nation with a population as low as Denmark's. Nevertheless, this one is certainly thought provoking. Undertaken by the Happiness Institute (no, really) in Copenhagen, it took a sample of 1095 people to determine whether there was any discernible change in mood once people stopped using Facebook.

As it turns out, the answers is an emphatic yes, at least in this instance. 50% of the people tested stopped using Facebook, and then the moods of all those in the experiment were evaluated a week later. 88% percent of the quitters said they were happy and generally more satisfied with their lives, compared to 81% for the other half. 84% registered an appreciation for their lives compared to 75% on the other side and a mere 12% registered dissatisfaction, compared to 20%. It might not sound like an overly jarring disparity, but it's certainly enough to be noticeable.

Additionally, many of the people who had sworn off the network said that their social lives felt more fulfilling, whilst the others reported nothing of the sort. This certainly lends weight to the emergence of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) among many young adults and more avid social media users, a psychological ailment that supposedly stems from getting a constant feed of the activity of friends and family that you personally aren't involved in.

What this study doesn't reveal is exactly how long this increased happiness and satisfaction would actually last if the abstinence carried on past a week. The lead researcher on the project has expressed an interest in trying the same thing again, only this time for a year to address this very issue.

My opinion, and that's all it is, is that complete abstinence from Facebook, or any other social media platform which has a habitual bearing is perhaps too extreme. This isn't like smoking or some other vice which no positivity can be drawn from, social media is a means of connecting people. Is it essential? No, but it certainly makes aspects of life easier.

Moderation is perhaps the better thing to encourage, the trouble with Facebook is that it invites long stretches of dead-eyed, time-devouring scrolling which offers no reward but is easy to get lost in. Finding methods of only using the platform when message alerts appear, or just placing limits on the amount of time per day or week that one spends on it could end up offering the best of both worlds.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Danish #Study Reveals Increase in #Happiness For #Facebook Quitters Reviewed by Callum Davies on Sunday, November 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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