Depressed? Try quitting Facebook

Researchers ascribe anxiety associated with Facebook use to envy at other people’s lives as they are seen enjoying.

A study by Denmark-based think tank Happiness Research Institute says quitting Facebook can actually make you happy. It found that those who had abstained from the social networking website reported feeling more enthusiastic, less lonely, less worried and more decisive.

The study enrolled 1095 volunteers and divided them into two groups.

Half of them carried on using Facebook as usual whereas the rest spent their time away from the social networking website.

After a week, 88 per cent of those who had given up Facebook said they felt “happy”, compared with 81 per cent of those who had still been checking into their ‘news feed’ on a regular basis.

The researchers ascribe the anxiety associated with Facebook use to envy at other people’s lives as they are seen enjoying, albeit in edited highlights.

“Instead of focusing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have,” wrote the authors of the study.

According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Facebook is a “constant bombardment of everyone else’s great news”.

“After a few days, I noticed my to-do list was getting done faster than normal as I spent my time more productively. I also felt a sort of calmness from not being confronted by Facebook all the time,” Sophie Anne Dornoy, 35, one of the volunteers was reported as saying.

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