Here’s one more reason to take a break from social media. A study from the University of Copenhagen reveals that going on Facebook too often can cause you to feel miserable about your life, more so those who are suffering from "Facebook envy."
According to Psych Central founder Dr. John M. Grohol, Facebook envy is caused by “social comparisons,” which make you think that what others have is always better than yours. The constant bombardment of updates from your friends’ seemingly perfect lives on your timeline can make you question your own achievements if you’re not confident in them, and that can cause you to feel envious and miserable.
“Envy is a negative emotion that rarely motivates,” says Dr. Grohol. “Instead, it causes most people to feel worse about themselves and their own life.”
Featured on The Independent, the study from the University of Copenhagen worked with 1,095 people. Half of the participants were asked to continue using Facebook, while another half were asked to abstain from it. The results revealed that those who used Facebook “rated their life satisfaction at 7.74 out of 10 average, but those who stayed away rated it at 8.11.” Those who initially admitted that they had Facebook envy reported that they felt better after steering clear of the social media platform.
“We are surely better connected now more than ever before, but is this new connectedness doing any good to our well-being?” Report author Morten Tromholt noted, “According to the present study, the answer is ‘no’. In fact, the predominant uses of Facebook – that is, as a means to communicate and gain information about others, as habitual pastime – are affecting our well-being negatively on several dimensions.”
While it can be argued that the issue is with the user and not the platform, it still a good option to disconnect once in a while, if only to ground yourself, separate from the noise, and hear your own thoughts. Sometimes, forced ignorance—especially when it comes to how those in your timeline are living their lives—is bliss.