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Image / Editorial

Fact: Quitting Facebook May Make You Significantly Happier


By Niamh ODonoghue
21st Nov 2016
Fact: Quitting Facebook May Make You Significantly Happier

A social media detox is more than likely going to make you significantly happier, so would you take the plunge and quit, even for a week?

There’s no doubt that Facebook is a great mechanism for a number of things: connecting loved ones, informing us about world news, distracting us when we have one billion other things to do. But is our usage going over the tipping point? Have we overstayed our welcome on social media to the point where our lives and mood are beginning to suffer?

Danish researcher Morten Tromholt conducted the happiness study?to figure out if quitting Facebook can make us happier, and, perhaps surprisingly, he found out that it does.

Tromholt recruited 1,095 participants (through Facebook no doubt)?and segregated them into two groups. One of the groups pledged to stay off Facebook for one week, while the second group?used the platform as normal. By the end of the week, 87 percent of participants didn’t bother engaging with Facebook at all; with?the intervention group reporting higher levels of happiness than the?group whose usage ?was not limited.

Despite his positive results, however, Tromholt isn’t totally convinced of his own findings and thinks there is an underlying ‘placebo effect’ in the study as anyone who was willing to take part in a “quit Facebook study” was likely to succeed as they had wanted to do it anyway. But maybe we all have an underlying need or wish to disconnect ourselves from it but are afraid to take the leap (FOMO and all that).

Given that Facebook’s algorithm favours the content that baits your emotions, it’s easy to see how withdrawing could reduce anxiety levels and restore a level of calmness.

For anyone feeling the burn of the modern lifestyle, a week – even a weekend – of no technology and lots of mindfulness, meditation and yoga might be just what you need, and with lots of digital detox retreats like Unplug, and?Digital Detox Ireland?you’ll be spoiled for choice.