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How does a Facebook break affect our stress?
Today, most people have a Facebook account. Such an account helps to give other people an insight into their own lives and to keep in touch with friends, but it also has a negative impact on users. Researchers have now found that deleting the Facebook account leads to a reduction in stress.
The University of Queensland researchers found that Facebook was stressing users. Deleting the Facebook account or taking a break from using Facebook can reduce the perceived stress and increase well-being. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Social Psychology".
Less stress but also less well-being
If you take a Facebook break of five days, it reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol in a person, explains Dr. Eric Vanman. The participants noticed an improvement in the levels of physiological stress in their study, but there was also less well-being among those affected. "People said they felt more dissatisfied with their lives and were looking forward to resuming Facebook activity," said study author Dr Vanman of the University of Queensland in a press release.
Social separation from friends reduces well-being
There are a number of theories behind the mixed results, the expert explains. If users delete their Facebook account, the level of the stress hormone cortisol decreases, but the self-perceived stress remains the same. One reason for this could be that the sufferers were not aware that their stress had decreased, the doctors suspect. After five days without Facebook, the participants reported reduced well-being. They were simply more dissatisfied with their lives and the reason for this, they said, was the social separation from their Facebook friends.
Subjects were divided into two groups
Two groups of active Facebook users took part in the study, with one group being instructed not to use Facebook for five days and the other group continuing to use Facebook as usual. All 138 participants in the study submitted saliva samples at the beginning and end of the study to measure changes in their cortisol levels, the scientists explain.
Breaks were short periods
The doctors came up with the idea for this study when they did not use Facebook for a few days. When talking to each other, the researchers found that some of them had already taken breaks from using Facebook if they found the social platform to be too stressful. However, the breaks were only for a period of several days or weeks, after which the experts use their Facebook account again.
Facebook can cause stress
Facebook has become an indispensable social tool for millions of users and obviously has some advantages. However, since it conveys so much social information through a large network of people, it can also be stressful and stressful. It seems that people are more likely to take a break from using Facebook on their own if this social platform becomes too stressful for them, the researchers suspect.
However, users always return to Facebook if they feel unhappy because they feel cut off from their friends, the doctors say. After a while, it becomes too stressful for these people, which leads to them taking a break again. This process is repeated over and over again, the authors explain. (as)