Need to cut some stress out of your life? Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia say that taking breaks from Facebook can help.
Their study included 138 active Facebook users who were asked to either take a 5-day fast from the social media platform or maintain current usage. Each person self-reported on their well-being and stress levels and underwent salivary cortisol tests before and after the intervention.
According to the findings, published in The Journal of Social Psychology (2018; 158 , 496–507), skipping Facebook led to a decrease in cortisol levels. However, the abstinent group reported a drop in life satisfaction and said they looked forward to returning to the site once the study was complete.
Eric Vanman, PhD, lead study author and senior lecturer at the university, said, “Facebook has become an essential social tool for millions of users, and it obviously provides many benefits. Yet, because it conveys so much social information about a large network of people, it can also be taxing. It seems that people take a break because they’re too stressed, but [they] return to Facebook whenever they feel unhappy because they have been cut off from their friends.”