Not since television has there been a technology that has so dramatically reshaped the way we get our information, news, communicate with other people and spend our downtime. Facebook is still the largest social media company with 2.3 billion monthly active users worldwide, with the average person spending 58 minutes on there each day.
But in line with concerns about our privacy issues, and the possible harms of social media and smartphone addiction a new study by Stanford University has found that taking short breaks from Facebook, by deactivating your account from time-to-time, is good for you. Here’s what the study participants benefited from by logging out:
- An average of 60 minutes per day of free time
- A reduction in negative feelings about politics
- Increase in happiness and life satisfaction
- Improvements in depression and anxiety
The researchers concluded that not using Facebook also reduced overall online activity, including other social media use, and increased real life activity like hanging out with friends and family.
These results are consistent with prior studies suggesting that social media use may have adverse effects on our mental health. In the future, health guidelines may be set for social media, advising us to limit our use in much the same way as they now exist for smoking or red meat consumption.