A survey by the University of Copenhagen reveals that Facebook is making people unhappy and causing depression in those who suffer “Facebook envy”.
Participants who took a week-long break from the social media platform were said to be more satisfied with life and rated their own well-being as higher.
The survey involved 1,095 people. Half of the participants were asked to carry on their Facebook routine or fondness whiles the other half were asked to discontinue or log out from social network platform.
Those who admitted suffering high levels of Facebook envy, the tendency to be jealous of your friends’ activities on social media, were mostly satisfied from taking a break from social network.
Morten Tromholt, report author said “Millions of hours are spent on Facebook each day. We are surely better connected now than ever before’’. The question to reflect on is whether the new connectedness is doing any good to our well-being?
The survey indicates that ‘’the predominant uses of Facebook – that is, as a means to communicate and gain information about others, as habitual pastime – are affecting our well-being negatively on several dimensions.”
The sample size was 86 per cent female, spread across Denmark, with an average age of 34, and with an average Facebook-friends count of 350. They were first asked to take a 15-minute pre-test which then randomly dropped them into either the treatment group – who were banned from Facebook for seven days – or the control group – who were asked to continue using it as usual.
In the post-test on the last day of the experiment, which 888 participants completed, 13 per cent of the treatment group admitted giving in and using Facebook.
The majority of these “non-compliers” claimed it was either because of an emergency or was a “habitual accident”.
In the test, the Facebook users rated their life satisfaction at 7.74 out of 10 average, but those who stayed away rated it at 8.11. The effect of quitting Facebook on well-being was also greater for users who feel “Facebook envy” than for users who do not.