Deleting Facebook is all the rage right now. People value their data privacy, go figure. But according to several studies, nixing the social media platform from your life completely could have some health consequences.
A recent scientific study found those who took a five-day Facebook hiatus didn’t feel the benefits of less stress, even though their cortisol levels decreased. The reality is that they actually felt worse than they did before they cut out Facebook for one reason: FOMO. Participants in the study felt left out from their social circles.
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Researchers say the best bet is to take mini vacations from Facebook once in awhile, not to delete it entirely:
The typical Facebook user may occasionally find the large amount of social information available taxing, and Facebook vacations could ameliorate this stress – at least in the short-term.
“People said they felt more unsatisfied with their life, and were looking forward to resuming their Facebook activity,” said lead researcher Dr Eric Vanman, who came up with study after he himself quit Facebook.
“When I told colleagues about my ‘Facebook vacations’, I found I wasn’t alone,” he said.
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“It seems that people take a break because they’re too stressed, but return to Facebook whenever they feel unhappy because they have been cut off from their friends. It then becomes stressful again after a while, so they take another break. And so on.”
Another study from 2017 found that Facebook is indeed helpful when it comes to coping with stress. And while being obsessed with any social media platform is unhealthy, spending a small amount of time “checking in” every day can actually be beneficial to your mental health.