You may not like it, but staying away from Facebook will probably make you happier.
Researchers in Denmark asked people to stop using their social media account for a week to see if it made any difference.
And, it did according to the report: 'The Facebook Experiment: Does social media affect the quality of our lives?' by the Happiness Research Institute.
Researchers noted that 94 per cent of the participants visited Facebook daily before dividing the 1,095 Danish participants into two groups.
One group continued to use Facebook as they normally would, while the others stopped using the social networking site for a week.
Once the week was finished, participants were asked to evaluate their “life satisfaction” out of a score of 10. This was then compared to the rating they had given before the study began.
Researchers found the group who continued to use Facebook initially produced a score of 7.67. This marginally increased to 7.75 following the week that nothing changed.
However for the group who abandoned the site, their average happiness rating increased from 7.56 to 8.12.
Additionally, these participants also were found to be more decisive and enthusiastic and were less worried, lonely and stressed compared to those who remained on Facebook.
Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute attributed the results to people’s tendencies to compare themselves to others on social media.
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
10 facts you didn’t know about Facebook
Around 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, with the site estimating in September last year that users had so far put up more than 250 billion images. That’s 4,000 photos uploaded every second and around 4 per cent of all photos ever taken, according to a study by Nokia.
Facebook’s logo is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind. “Blue is the richest color for me. I can see all of blue," said Zuckerberg in an interview with the New Yorker. The colour is so popular that Facebook’s campus store even sells nail polish in the exact shade named ‘social butterfly blue’.
Zuckerberg's famously low-key wardrobe (either a grey t-shirt or a hoodie) is so that the CEO saves time deciding what to wear each day. However, Zuckerberg is known to dress up when the occasion demands it. For a 2011 event with Barack Obama he showed up in a suit, with the president introducing himself by saying: “I’m Barack Obama and I’m the guy who got Mark to wear a jacket and tie.”
In July 2006 Zuckerberg turned down a $1 billion offer for the site from Yahoo. He was 22 years old at the time and owned 25 per cent of the company. Zuckerberg reportedly turned it down by saying “I don't know what I could do with the money. I'd just start another social networking site. I kind of like the one I already have.” He definitely made the right choice: Facebook is now valued at $135 billion.
A YouGov poll claimed that three-quarter of UK Facebook users' photos showed someone drinking or inebriated. However, the poll did ask users to estimate the number of boozy snaps themselves, and like all things on Facebook, there might have been an element of exaggeration involved.
Facebook operates a bounty hunter program – for bugs. Like many other big technology companies Facebook offers cash rewards to security researchers who point out flaws in the site’s code. The minimum payout is $500 and the largest prize to date has been $33,500.
More than a third of divorce filings in 2011 referenced Facebook, said a survey from UK-based legal firm Divorce Online. The exact figures may be an estimate, but with just under 8 trillion Facebook messages sent in 2013 it’s certain that a substantial body of evidence is to be found on the social network.
Zuckerberg isn’t much of a Twitter fan. Despite having nearly three hundred thousand followers on the service he’s only tweeted 19 times - once in 2012 and the rest in 2009. Although Facebook dwarfs twitter in terms of active users (1 billion compared with 200 million by some accounts) the micro-blogging site handles breaking news better. Facebook has introduced trending topics and hashtags to counter this.
Following the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 Iceland decided to rewrite their constitution using Facebook to solicit suggestions from citizens. Unfortunately, despite this forward thinking approach, the document was killed by politicians in mid-2013 for various (mostly technical) reasons.
You can browse Facebook upside down. Facebook currently supports more than 70 different languages – including English (Pirate) and English (Upside Down). Check the bottom of the column on the right of your newsfeed and click your current language to change!
He told The Local: “Facebook distorts our perception of reality and of what other people’s lives really look like. We take in to account how we’re doing in life through comparisons to everyone else, and since most people only post positive things on Facebook, that gives us a very biased perception of reality.”
“If we are constantly exposed to great news, we risk evaluating our own lives as less good.”
“There can also be positive benefits from Facebook and social media, but I think the real thing to always be aware of is the effect it has on our perception of reality. This constant flow of great news we see on Facebook only represents the top 10 per cent of things that happen to other people. It shouldn’t be used as the background for evaluating our own lives,” he says.
The study comes after teenage Instagram and vlogging star Essena O’Neill made an emotional post revealing what it’s really like to live your life through social media.
In the video she said social media made her “miserable” and warned her thousands of followers: “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real. It’s contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It’s a system based on social approval… It’s perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgement.”Reuse content