Health and well-being improved by not using Facebook
Many people use social networks like Facebook and Instagram every day. This can also affect your mental and physical health. A current study now shows the advantages of reducing the use of Facebook.
Less active and passive use of Facebook increases well-being and promotes a healthy lifestyle, reports the research team of the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) of its research results. The addiction-like symptoms regarding the use of Facebook have also decreased. The study results were published in the specialist magazine “Computers in Human Behavior”.
20 minutes less Facebook use per day
A total of 286 people who used Facebook for an average of at least 25 minutes a day participated in the study. Their average useful life was around one hour a day. The researchers divided the test subjects into two groups, with 146 people using Facebook as usual and 140 people reducing their Facebook use by 20 minutes or around a third of the average usage time for two weeks.
In parallel, Facebook use, well-being and lifestyle were recorded using an online questionnaire. Each participant completed the questionnaire before the start of the study, after one week, at the end of the two-week experiment, one month and three months later. The participants who had reduced their Facebook use subsequently showed significant improvements.
What were the advantages of reduced Facebook usage?
At the end of the study, there were fewer addictive symptoms related to Facebook use and fewer depressive symptoms in the test group than in the control group. The participants in this group were also more physically active, smoked less cigarettes and their life satisfaction increased, the research team continued.
"These effects on the improvement of well-being and a healthier lifestyle persisted after the two-week Facebook reduction until the last time of the study three months after the experiment," emphasizes the study leader Dr. Julia Brailovskaia from the RUB.
Active and passive use reduced
The evaluation of the data also showed that the participants in the test group reduced both their active and passive Facebook use. According to Dr. Brailovskaia is an essential aspect, because passive use in particular leads to comparison with others and thus promotes envy and a reduction in mental well-being.
Total waiver of Facebook is not required
The reduction in the amount of time spent on Facebook every day could be enough to avoid addictive behavior, increase well-being and promote a healthier lifestyle - without having to give up the platform altogether, the researchers conclude. (fp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- Julia Brailovskaia, Fabienne Ströse, Holger Schillack, Jürgen Margraf: Less Facebook use - more well-being and a healthier lifestyle? An experimental intervention study; in: Computers in Human Behavior, 2020, sciencedirect.com
- Ruhr University Boochum: Healthier and happier thanks to the waiver of Facebook (published March 12th, 2020), rub.de