Well-Being//

Healthier and Happier Without Facebook

People who reduce the time they spend on Facebook smoke less, are more active, and feel better all around.

By Rido/Shutterstock
By Rido/Shutterstock

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. Lucky those who took part: afterwards they were more physically active, smoked less and were more satisfied. Symptoms of addiction regarding Facebook usage decreased. These effects continued also three months after the end of the experiment. 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 that 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.

Originally published on Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Well-Being//

Facebook Agrees Your News Feed Really Can Make You Feel Worse

by Charlotte Cabot
Well-Being//

3 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Energy

by Eric Barker
Time Well Spent//

Everyone is Talking About Our Relationship with Technology

by Shelby Lorman

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.