About a week and a half ago I wrote a blog post about a research study that concluded:
the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction…
In that post I noted that I was going to take a few days off from Facebook and see if I detected any differences in my overall well-being.
So I stayed off Facebook for a total of four days (I know, it’s not much of a break), and while I did not notice any change in my well-being, I did notice that I didn’t really miss Facebook that much. I would get pop-up notices on my phone that someone had liked or commented on one of my posts, but I did not check to see what the actual comment was.
(I still posted my blogs to Facebook during my hiatus, but I did so automatically using a WordPress plug-in. As soon as I hit publish in WordPress, it would also send the post to Facebook and Twitter.)
I did notice during my break that I would occasionally think about Facebook, but I wasn’t overly tempted to open up the app on my phone or browser.
I probably would need a longer break, maybe a month or two, to actually see if I noticed any change in my physical or mental health, or my life satisfaction.
But I don’t think I need to do so. I think I was able to prove to myself that I am not addicted to Facebook, but I do enjoy using it.
I find Facebook to be an efficient way of keeping up with what is going on with friends and family, but at this point I don’t think it has replaced my desire for also maintaining my real-world social networks.
I’m also sure Mark Zuckerberg was relieved when I came back.
I’m one more person that gets to see a Facebook ad or sponsored post, one more person helping Zuckerberg get closer to being worth a trillion dollars someday…