I spend a lot of time on Facebook – mainly for work purposes – but also because I get bored and, like all normal sane people am afraid of being left alone with my thoughts, because that’s the true definition of hell right there.
But it turns out that, like everything else in life, including time, Facebook is probably killing you. Well, liking stuff and updating your status is. Just staring at it for hours on end might be safe. That part is inconclusive.
A new study has found evidence that the more people hit “like” and update their status the worse their mental and physical health and life satisfaction.
Face-to-face social interactions enhance well-being. With the ubiquity of social media, important questions have arisen about the impact of online social interactions. In the present study, we assessed the associations of both online and offline social networks with several subjective measures of well-being. We used 3 waves (2013, 2014, and 2015) of data from 5,208 subjects in the nationally representative Gallup Panel Social Network Study survey, including social network measures, in combination with objective measures of Facebook use. We investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and body mass index. Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being. For example, a 1-standard-deviation increase in “likes clicked” (clicking “like” on someone else’s content), “links clicked” (clicking a link to another site or article), or “status updates” (updating one’s own Facebook status) was associated with a decrease of 5%–8% of a standard deviation in self-reported mental health. These associations were robust to multivariate cross-sectional analyses, as well as to 2-wave prospective analyses. The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible tradeoff between offline and online relationships.
So, they’re still not sure if you’re using Facebook because you’re already an unhealthy loser with no life and nothing to do, or if Facebook is turning you into an unhealthy loser with no life and nothing to do.
But the takeaway is clear: NEVER LIKE ANYTHING OR LET ANYONE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE UP TO and you will live longer.
I should have been a doctor.
(Image credit: Copyright: everythingpossible / 123RF Stock Photo)