We've Just Been Handed the Most Concrete Evidence to Date That Facebook is Unhealthy
It seems like every week there's a new study looking into this, and they all tend to come out the same way, but the latest one, conducted in Denmark, is shaping up to be a game changer. In particular, the study focused on 'Facebook-related envy', gauging how participants felt when they saw what people on their feed were getting up to. The results were compared between groups of people who continued to use Facebook at a normal rate, and those who took a week off.
Unsurprisingly, the study found that those who took some time off had generally higher levels of life satisfaction, despite having only been off-grid for 7 days. Where it gets interesting is that the participants were also divided based on the nature of their approach to Facebook - 'passive', 'heavy' and 'envious'.
We already knew that taking the odd break from Facebook is healthy, but the study suggests that it depends heavily on how you use Facebook. The better approach is to simply 'adjust' your behaviour on the platform. For example, if you use Facebook 'enviously', the best thing isn't necessarily to take time off, but to avoid browsing the areas which illicit this response. Say you have a friend who's travelling around Asia, perhaps you're better off unfollowing them until they get back.
The study does also say that if you're struggling to change the way you behave on Facebook, you should probably think about quitting. That's obviously a far easier option for some than it is for others, but it raises the worrying notion that people aren't necessarily in direct control of the way they behave on the platform.
The study kind of ends up acting as an amalgam of all the other similar research carried out over the past few years. The data it uses is flimsy and somewhat unevenly weighted (86% of the sample were female), but the conclusions it draws are supported more broadly. Generally speaking, trying to figure out what your approach to Facebook is and what its drawbacks are could well lead to a more responsible approach to using it.
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 @Songbird_Callum
We've Just Been Handed the Most Concrete Evidence to Date That Facebook is Unhealthy Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, January 04, 2017 Rating: