Lately, we've been hearing a lot about the pitfalls of social media, but now, science has confirmed it: staying away from the "reality distorting" Facebook is likely to increase your happiness.
A study carried out in Denmark has revealed that even as little as a week away from the social networking site could increase your satisfaction in life and significantly reduce stress.
Researchers from the Danish Happiness Research Institute (yep, that's actually a place) divided a group of 1,095 people, aged between 16-76, into two groups.
One group was given their usual access to the site, and the other shut down their profiles for a week.
“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,” Meik Wiking, CEO of the Institute, tells The Guardian.
“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.”
Before and after the experiment took place, the participants were asked to rate their life satisfaction out of ten. They also had to comment on how active their social lives were, how good their day-to-day concentration was and if they compared themselves to others.
The resulting study, The Facebook Experiment: Does social media affect the quality of our lives? revealed that those who abstained from the social network had a higher life appreciation, a richer social life and fewer difficulties when concentrating.
Sophie Anne Dornoy, 35, took part in the study and said: “My to-do list was getting done faster than normal as I spent my time more productively. I also felt a sort of calmness from not being confronted by Facebook all the time.”
“It felt good to know that the world doesn’t end without Facebook and that people are still able to reach you,” she says.