Want To Lead A De-stressed Life? Quit Facebook, Says Study

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Want To Lead A De-stressed Life? Quit Facebook, Says Study

Posted on : Monday 9th of April 2018

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Are you spending a lot of time on Facebook and want to wean yourself off from the social networking platform? Here's some motivation. A group of researchers from Australia's University of Queensland have found that when a hooked user quits Facebook, he/she is under less stress. So quitting Facebook equals de-stressing, finds the study, led by Professor Eric Vanman, who is a senior lecturer at the university's School of Psychology. The research states that if one abstains from Facebook activity, the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, drops in the body.

The finding comes days after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came out in the open in which data of millions of Facebook users was used to influence the choice of voters during the 2016 United States Presidential elections. This also led to an online movement called #DeleteFacebook which calls for users to deactivate their social media accounts.

Here's how the research study was conducted:

To study the impact of Facebook on users, Professor Vanman and his team formed two groups, comprising 138 study participants. The researchers then took saliva samples from the participants and asked one of the groups to abstain from the Facebook activity for five days while the other group was asked to continue using the app.

After five days, their saliva samples were taken again and the results were published in the Journal of Social Psychology which stated that the cortisol level dropped among the members of the group which abstained from using the Facebook app.

"Taking a Facebook break for just five days reduced a person's level of the stress hormone cortisol," Medical News Today quoted Professor Vanman as saying.

Excess amount of cortisol, which rises when a person is stressed, can compromise immune system, impair memory and make the body susceptible to obesity.

The research also suggested that quitting Facebook might make one sadder during the initial phase.

"While participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being," Professor Vanman was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

The findings may apply to other social networking platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter among others, the researchers said.

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