Feeling a bit blue? Maybe take a bit of time off social media. New research has found that staying off Facebook for a week can improve happiness.
A team from the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, split 1,095 Facebook users who checked the social media website daily into two groups – one set was allowed to go on as normal, while the other had to take a seven-day hiatus. At the end of the week, 88% of the people who took a Facebook break said that they were happy, compared to the 81% of the people who used it.
Furthermore, 84% of those who abstained from the Mark Zuckerberg-backed site said that they appreciated their lives at the end of the experiment, whereas only three-quarters of the others agreed with this sentiment. The former also said that they appreciated their social lives more.
The team note in their report that constantly viewing what others own can cause anxiety. "Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have."
Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, told The Guardian: "Facebook is a constant bombardment of everyone else's great news, but many of us look out of the window and see grey skies and rain – especially in Denmark!. This makes the Facebook world, where everyone's showing their best side, seem even more distortedly bright by contrast, so we wanted to see what happened when users took a break."