A new study carried out by the researchers at Stanford University and New York University has revealed that quitting Facebook can help improve mental health. The research, which involved 2,844 participants, however, also found that users who stop using Facebook may find themselves less informed when it comes to the news.
Half of the study’s participants were paid around $100 or so to deactivate their Facebook accounts for a period of four weeks. During this period, the researchers closely monitored how the participants were feeling.
The participants who quit Facebook not only reported feeling happier but also increased their time socializing with family and friends. At the same time, when presented with statements about recent news, participants who quit Facebook were more likely to get the answer wrong or report being unsure about the answer.
“The great majority of the Treatment group agreed that deactivation was good for them, but they were also more likely to think that people would miss Facebook if they used it less,” added the authors. “Deactivation caused small but significant improvements in well-being, and in particular on self-reported happiness, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety. Effects on subjective well-being as measured by responses to brief daily text messages are positive but not significant.”
The researchers, however, noted that the findings should be interpreted with caution since the effects could differ with the duration or scale of Facebook account deactivation.