Healthier and happier without Facebook

March 12, 2020

The group headed by Dr. Julia Brailovskaia published their results in the journal "Computers in Human Behavior" from 6. March 2020.

On average a good hour of Facebook every day

The research team recruited 286 people for the study who were on Facebook for an average of at least 25 minutes a day. The average usage time per day was a good hour. The researchers subdivided the test persons into two groups: the control group comprised of 146 people used Facebook as usual. The other 140 people reduced their Facebook usage by 20 minutes a day for two weeks, which is about one third of the average usage time.

All participants were tested prior to the study, one week into it, at the end of the two-week experiment, and finally one month and three months later. Using online questionnaires, the research team surveyed the way they used Facebook, their well-being and their lifestyle.

Not necessary to give it up altogether

The results showed: participants in the group that had reduced their Facebook usage time used the platform less, both actively and passively. "This is significant, because passive use in particular leads to people comparing themselves with others and thus experiencing envy and a reduction in psychological well-being," says Julia Brailovskaia. Participants who reduced their Facebook usage time, moreover, smoked fewer cigarettes than before, were more active physically and showed fewer depressive symptoms than the control group. Their life satisfaction increased. "After the two-week period of Facebook detox, these effects, i.e. the improvement of well-being and a healthier lifestyle, lasted until the final checks three months after the experiment," points out Julia Brailovskaia.

According to the researchers this is an indication that simply reducing the amount of time spent on Facebook every day could be enough to prevent addictive behavior, increase well-being and support a healthier lifestyle. "It's not necessary to give up the platform altogether," concludes Julia Brailovskaia.
-end-
Original publication

Julia Brailovskaia, Fabienne Ströse, Holger Schillack, Jürgen Margraf: Less Facebook use - more well-being and a healthier lifestyle? An experimental intervention study, in: Computers in Human Behavior, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2020.106332

Press contact

Associate Professor Dr. Julia Brailovskaia
Mental Health Research and Treatment Center
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Germany
Phone: +49 234 32 21506
Email: julia.brailovskaia@rub.de

Ruhr-University Bochum

Related Facebook Articles from Brightsurf:

Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV
More political candidates may be shifting primarily to social media to advertise rather than TV, according to a study of advertising trends from the 2018 campaign season.

Facebook anniversaries inspire reflection, nostalgia
Posted on Facebook, milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries prompt users to reflect on the passage of time and the patterns of their lives -- and help the social media giant recycle content in order to boost engagement, according to new Cornell research.

Healthier and happier without Facebook
Two weeks of 20 minutes less time per day on Facebook: a team of psychologists from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) invited 140 test persons to participate in this experiment.

Facebook language changes before an emergency hospital visit
A new study published in Nature Scientific Reports reveals that the language people use on Facebook subtly changes before they make a visit to the emergency department (ED).

When college students post about depression on Facebook
When college students post about feelings of depression on Facebook, their friends are unlikely to encourage them to seek help, a small study suggests.

Quitting Facebook could boost exam results
In research that validates what many parents and educators suspect, students whose grades are below average could boost their exam results if they devoted less time to Facebook and other social networking sites.

Depressed by Facebook and the like
Great holiday, fantastic party, adorable children, incredible food: everyone shows their life in the best light on social networks.

Can Facebook improve your mental health?
Contrary to popular belief, using social media and the internet regularly could improve mental health among adults and help fend off serious psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, finds a new Michigan State University study.

How stress leads to Facebook addiction
Friends on social media such as Facebook can be a great source of comfort during periods of stress.

The dead may outnumber the living on Facebook within 50 years
New analysis by academics from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), part of the University of Oxford, predicts the dead may outnumber the living on Facebook within 50 years, a trend that will have grave implications for how we treat our digital heritage in the future.

Read More: Facebook News and Facebook Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.