As humans we are all unique, possessing different personality traits, having different experiences and being passionate about different things. However one thing that ties as together as a species has to be an innate desire for happiness.
A new study has looked into happiness in the modern world, asking what it actually takes for a person to be a happy. The study concluded that turning off social media platforms for just one week could be the key to happiness and greater life satisfaction.
The study was named ‘The Facebook Experiment’ and was conducted by Danish researcher Morten Tromholt. The study enlisted the help of 1,095 Danish participants, all of who were recruited via Facebook.
The participants were divided into two groups; those who were allowed to use Facebook for the week and those who were not. For some, quitting Facebook appeared to be more difficult than anticipated, with only 87 percent of the group making it to the end of the week without using Facebook.
At the end of the study, the results showed that those who had not used Facebook for the week reported significantly higher ‘life satisfaction’ and overall felt happier. As a result of the study, Tromholt highlighted the damaging effects that social media appears to be having on our happiness and well-being.
“People’s emotional life improves significantly when they quit Facebook for 1 week… Millions of hours are spent on Facebook each day,” he said. “We are surely better connected now than ever before, but is this new connectedness doing any good to our well-being? According to the present study, the answer is no…”
While the study showed some interesting results, critics have questioned if the 0.37 (on a scale of 1-10) increase in happiness is significant enough to actually qualify as ‘higher life satisfaction’, with others suggesting that the results may have been skewed by the sample group.
Despite criticism, you probably don’t have to go far to find somebody who swears that cutting down their social media use has done wonders for their life. So if you’re looking to feel more satisfied, ditching social media for a while could be exactly what you need.