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article imageNew study explores the benefits of giving up Facebook

By Tim Sandle     Feb 28, 2019 in Internet
Many people are avid users of social media (and some addicts). To explore what happens psychologically to those who give up Facebook for just four weeks, a research team ran a study with interesting results.
Stanford University researchers wished to know the effects when someone gives up scrolling and liking on Facebook for a relatively short period of time - four weeks. To encourage participants to take part in the study, some of the volunteers were paid whereas others were encouraged others to give up by the social media service. In all 2,844 people were surveyed.
The research findings indicate that cutting Facebook out of one's life has a number of consequences, most of which err on the positive. Summarized by Recode, the benefits break down into four area. The first was that people who gave up Facebook spent less time online overall. This means they did not supplement the lost Facebook time with other social media platforms or online activities. This leads on to the second observation: those who left Facebook temporarily suggested they planned to spend far less time on Facebook going forwards.
The third aspect was the study participants reported better mental health. This contrasted with the position that Facebook adopts where the social media site indicates that being active on the site is beneficial overall. The only potential downside, as the fourth observation found, was that people were less informed, especially those who use Facebook as their primary news source.
The research has been published in a white paper titled "The Welfare Effects of Social Media".
Parallel research was conducted by Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. The researchers here looked at how much people would need to receive financially to give up Facebook for one year (around $1,000 is the answer). The need for a financial inducement contrasts slightly with the Stanford study, and you can compare the results by reading the article "Drop Facebook for a year? Yes, for $1000."
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