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Using Facebook may affect your mental health, new study reveals

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 9 April 2018, 11:42 IST

A research was conducted by a group of researchers from Australia, at the University of Queensland, Brisbane which suggests that if you will stop using Facebook then there are more chances to live a healthy and stress-free life. The small study was conducted to see if the social media giant is worth using or not.

The social media giant is currently facing many controversies of a massive data breach of millions of Facebook users. Many people including celebrities started deleting their Facebook accounts after that.

In March 2018, it was revealed that personal information of more than 50 million Facebook users was used and sold to Cambridge Analytica, a firm which analysis political data and worked for United States President Donald Trump in his presidential campaign.

Although there can be many reasons of your stressed life and probably Facebook isn't one of them but when this research which was published in the Journal of Social Science, reveals that how the social media giant is affecting our mental health.

The research was conducted by the lead author of the study Eric Vanman who formed a team of 138 study participants. The researchers took the saliva samples of all the participants and then the team was divided into two groups where half of the participants were active on the social media, and the other half took a break of five-days and they were told not to use Facebook.

Researchers then took the saliva samples of 138 participants again to examine the levels of cortisol, which is commonly known as the stress hormone.

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The results were analysed and they found those who took the break and didn't use Facebook for a while, there was a drop in their cortisol levels.

“People said they felt more unsatisfied with their life and were looking forward to resuming their Facebook activity,” said lead author Eric Vanman in a statement. They believe they’d yield the same results with other social media sites.

But why the mixed findings? The scientists think it could be a variety of reasons.

The study also suggested that staying away from social media made them sadder in the initial stage.

"While participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being," Prof. Vanman says.

According to the researchers, these findings may apply to all social networks.

Hence, it would be okay to say that it is not healthy to spend much time on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram.

“People said they felt more unsatisfied with their life and were looking forward to resuming their Facebook activity,” said lead author Eric Vanman in a statement. They believe they’d yield the same results with other social media sites.

But still these mixed findings are messing with our head. The scientists think that there can be many reasons for this.

The study also suggested that staying away from social media made them sadder in the initial stage.

"While participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being," Prof. Vanman says.

According to the researchers, these findings may apply to all social networks.

Hence, it would be okay to say that it is not healthy to spend much time on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram.

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First published: 9 April 2018, 11:42 IST
 
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