Stop lurking and enjoy Christmas

  | James Innes

A new University of Copenhagen study has revealed that too much time spent lurking on Facebook at Christmas is likely to spoil your festive holiday. The study of more than 1,000 participants, mostly women, suggests people can get feelings of envy if they spend too much time on sites like Facebook, because “unrealistic social comparisons” are made between their lives and the supposedly better times friends and acquaintances seem to be enjoying. Seeing those “perfect” family and holiday photos of others makes you miserable, especially if you just lurk and don’t try and actively engage with anybody else.

Researchers found that regular use of social networking sites such as Facebook can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life. The study suggests either actively engaging in conversation or connecting with people on social media – or simply taking a break from it for a week or so.

The study, which was published in the respected scientific journal “Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking” reported that participants were split into two groups – one group continued with Facebook as normal, the other refrained from using it for a week.

The results found that the group that had done without it showed a statistical improvement in their well-being, with the degree of improvement dependent on how much time they previously spent on Facebook, and whether or not they were passive users who spent hours envying the posts of others.

So, if you find yourself getting depressed over that friend’s skiing holiday or that family’s idyllic Christmas scenes, give yourself a break and log out of Facebook for a few days. Who knows – you might even enjoy Christmas!

Sources: The Telegraph | BBC


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