With 1.18 billion daily active users on average in 2016, causal evidence detected between Facebook use and feeling blue, is more important than ever.
The study found that even in a one-week period, life satisfaction could be increased and emotional states made more positive when Facebook use changed.
But you don’t have to quit completely, or delete your account, simply changing your behaviour and taking an occasional break is enough to have this effect.
The study was conducted at The University of Copenhagen with over 1000 people taking part. Participants were randomly assigned conditions – either to keep using Facebook as per usual or to stop using the platform for a week.
After just seven days without Facebook, the treatment group statistically significant improvement in wellbeing compared to the control group.
Gains varied between individuals, depending on various factors, such as how much they were using the site beforehand and whether they passively ‘lurked’ (the infamous scroll) or actively engaged.
And most importantly, whether they were prone to envying others.
Surprisingly, even using other internet sites for twenty minutes rather than Facebook for the same length of time, was emotionally favourable.
“On the bright side, connecting with one’s friends, whether in real life or on Facebook, may actually increase one’s sense of well-being,” said Brenda K. Wiederhold.