Facebook is a two-faced tool. On the one hand, it allows us to communicate globally and instantly. On the other hand, it can be a huge time-waster that promotes fear of missing out (FOMO). A recent study found that it’s very beneficial for us to take days—or even weeks—when we stay off of Facebook. In fact, not being on Facebook may make us better at our jobs.
A study from the Danish Happiness Research Institute recently surveyed 1,095 daily Facebook users. The researchers began by analyzing the Facebook behavior of a group of people and found that 94 percent visited Facebook daily, as so many of us do. The study then divided the participants into two groups: those who could still use Facebook normally, and those who couldn’t access it at all.
Going without Facebook for a week may not seem like a big deal to some people, but those of us who use it regularly know that it can be quite difficult. However, the results of our experiment were very different from what we expected. Just one week after quitting Facebook, people felt more content with their lives. Out of the 88 percent who were forced to delete Facebook, 81 percent said they felt “happy”- compared to those still scrolling aimlessly through the site.
[Related: This App Hides Your Distracting Facebook Feed When You Need It To]
Furthermore, the quitters were less aggravated, more passionate about life, and had keener social skills (apparently, people in real life are often more intriguing than those on a screen). In addition, they experienced less stress and felt more productive. Caroline Gray, Local Levo Manager, recently gave up social media and says she doesn’t have any regrets. “I got tired of staring at a screen all day. Going from work to then trolling Instagram on my phone to then looking at Facebook on my computer at home. I decided I wanted to start looking at the world around me rather than screens in my hand,” she said.
Out of the group that still uses Facebook, an interesting 55 percent feel as many of us do when looking at Facebook: STRESS. “Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have,” wrote the authors of the study.
A break from Facebook doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. If whenever you log in it’s making you unhappy, maybe consider spending some time away. It’s not like we’re telling you goodbye forever, just a short while Apart. We’re not telling you to quit Instagram altogether, that would be crazy.
[Related: “My Problem Wasn’t With Social Media—It Was With Me”]
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