Social media has become an all encompassing part of our daily lives. Constantly scrolling past images of other people living their “best life” can start to wear on your self-esteem, particularly if your life doesn’t feel as exciting or as rich. So does completely deleting opting out of our favorite apps and platforms increase happiness.
Sarah Eichmeyer, researcher in Stanford’s economics department, studied Facebook de-activation in a recently published study conducted in 2018. Eichmeyer followed subjects who got off of Facebook for a month and measured how they felt afterwards.
“We find that being off Facebook left our participants feeling happier and less anxious, on average,” she told Bustle. “But the overall emotional impact, while meaningful, is quite small.”
Eichmeyer was shocked that there was impact at all.
“It’s surprising to me that Facebook has a detectable impact on people’s happiness,” she told the publication. “Our study shows that deactivating Facebook indeed causes people to be happier — although not by as much as correlational research might have suggested.”
Any communication or social tool can be positive or negative depending on how its used. It’s more about gauging how these platforms effect you and adjusting accordingly.
“Like anything, social media are not inherently good or bad, as that is up to the user,” psychotherapist Dr. Lisa Larsen, PsyD, told Bustle. “Some people use them to stalk ex-lovers or promulgate troubling beliefs, while others use it how it was probably intended — to keep in touch with loved ones and friends.”
If you find yourself addicted or logging off feeling worst than when you logged on, you may be going overboard. Overall, it should be a leisure activity and not your whole life.