Turns out, what we suspected is true! According to research by Stanford University and NYU, quitting Facebook makes people happier.
The researchers enlisted approximately 2,850 Facebook users who used Facebook for more than one hour. Ironically, the users were recruited through Facebook for the month-long experiment.
The participants were then asked to deactivate their profiles and the researchers periodically checked to ensure the profiles remained deactivated.
The researchers finding showed that:
- Spent more time with their friends and family
- Didn’t replace the “Facebook Time” with another social media
- Reported small but significant improvements in their levels of happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety
- Became less politically polarized in their views
- Used Facebook less after the experiment was over
Designed to be an addictive drug
Part of the reason why Facebook causes so much damage is that we may be addicted to it. Just like any drug.
Facebook has a reward system that gives its users momentary euphoria via likes, shares and other mechanisms, and makes it a habit.
Once people withdraw and stop using Facebook their willingness to go back to Facebook also diminishes significantly, the research stated.
According to the researchers, “four weeks without Facebook improves subjective wellbeing and substantially reduces post-experiment demand, suggesting that forces such as addiction and projection bias may cause people to use Facebook more than they otherwise would.”