Social networks have achieved a resounding change in culture and society in recent years. They have a direct impact on behavior, life choice...
Social networks have achieved a resounding change in culture and society in recent years. They have a direct impact on behavior, life choices, and, above all, on our self-esteem. So? Yes, and the experts assure it.
According to a study by New York University and Stanford, stopping using Facebook for a period of at least 4 weeks can positively affect emotional well-being. And for us, who love social networks, it leaves us wondering.
Less informed, but happier
Before "demonizing" social networks, we can say that they have brought a series of advantages to society. We inform ourselves, it makes us meet people we have not seen for a long time, and it lets us know many things around the world that were difficult to know before.
However, despite being informed, Facebook makes us less happy. Experts believe that this social network causes us anxiety, low self-esteem, and unhappiness. And what they discovered in the research will leave us pondering (and will probably cause you to disable the app for a while).
What the experts say
Matthew Gentzkow, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and one of the authors of the research explains that ' What you see in this study is that the rise of social media, and Facebook, in particular, has been a double-edged sword «.
“ Facebook is the greatest thing that ever happened, or it is destroying humanity. This is like the discussion we had when television came on. We need to begin to understand the nuances of what this technology is really doing to the world, "says the expert.
The research focused on the use that a group of people made of the application, dividing them into two subgroups. One group would use Facebook normally, and the other group would disable the app for a month.
Without Facebook, happier
The results showed that those people who had deactivated Facebook for at least four weeks were not only happier but also recognized having one more free hour a day to take advantage of doing their things.
The research reveals how much time we lose on social media every day, and how much we actually "socialize." Most of us will go in to post the latest selfie, show off a beach afternoon with our kids, or see what our friends show.
It is no coincidence then that deactivating Facebook makes us feel happier, because what the most popular social network in the world does is show us everything that others have or do, and often it does not allow us to see or value what we are and have. Comparison is the order of the day.
It gets us down but we keep using it
Although experts say that envying our friends on Facebook leads to depression, we still use it. Seeing someone else's family vacation, the new car that was bought, and the number of happy faces, leads us to compare our life with that of others.
In most cases, experts believe that such comparisons lead to a feeling of envy that can lead to depression. Still, we fall into the temptation to spend our free time looking at the lives of others, when we could easily call a friend or go for a walk.
This happens when you stop using Facebook
The study concluded that people who disabled Facebook for a time reported a number of changes:
Better use of free time and more time with friends and family
Improvements in satisfaction and quality of life, well-being, and happiness
Less anxiety and depression
Less political polarization in their views
Less use of Facebook after having the application disabled for four weeks
But not everything is so bad, right?
If you are one of those who use their free time to look at social networks, surely you think that the experts exaggerate. No, not only are they not exaggerating, but they want to take care of your mental and emotional health.
Even so, if you are one of those who like the social network, you should know that in moderation, it can bring you some benefits, such as finding a job, finding that friend from years ago, or raising your self-esteem if you look at your profile often.
If we add to this that many people have improved their love lives by finding a partner on Facebook, we can say that the social network can bring us certain benefits as long as we are not "slaves" to it.
Neither lovers nor detractors
The researchers assure that the intention of the studies carried out is not to take one side or the other but to make people aware of the use of social networks. And despite Marck Zuckerberg's privacy scandals, the company has reported a record profit of $ 6.9 billion. Which makes us suppose that people are still faithful.
It is not a question of being Facebook lovers or detractors. Let's face it, we love surfing social networks and we think it's highly unlikely that this study can encourage us to quit altogether. However, we could reflect on the use, the time we spend on it, and how much it affects us in our social and family life.
Happiness is out there
Understanding that the excessive use of social networks can deeply affect our state of mind and perspective on life, it can help us to be more attentive to its use and that it gets in the way of our personal life.
Happiness is in the everyday things that we see live and direct, and not through a screen. Take the time to appreciate everything around you and try to see that real life is beyond what Facebook shows.
Join the experiment, and after a month tell us what happened. Are you up for it?