Yet another study on the benefits of deactivating Facebook:
- Quitting Facebook could free up 60 minutes per day.
- “Deactivating Facebook caused small but significant improvements in subjective well-being, and in particular in self-reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety.”
- “As the [time-away-from-Facebook] experiment ended, participants reported planning to use Facebook much less in the future.”
- “Deactivation significantly reduced polarization of views on policy issues and a measure of exposure to polarizing news.”
I’ve written previously about the ills of social media: they’re time-sucks at work and home, they undermine flesh-and-blood social bonding, they influence your thinking through gate-keeping the newsfeeds you’re exposed to, and they unduly sway your buying decisions through advertisements. Mindlessly scrolling through the airbrushed pictures of others’ lives could remind you of the life you don’t have—potentially instigating feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and self-loathing.
Social media have become a necessity that people have become reluctant to do without. Facebook’s spectacular growth is testimony to the fact that social media offer a core human need that was always wanted. For the moment, we’ll have to rely on individual choices to use social media sparingly and intelligently. Balance is everything—not all or none.