Leaving Facebook Makes You Happier and Less Informed, Study Finds

Jan 2015
3,179
2,058
MD
#1
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/...ppier-and-less-informed?utm_source=reddit.com

Last March I deleted my Facebook account and never looked back. In the year since I left Facebook (and every other social media platform), I’ve experienced a significant improvement in my quality of life—I spend more time on my hobbies, feel less anxious and angry from constant exposure to the news cycle, have a noticeably longer attention span, and feel more present in the moment when I’m hanging out with friends and family.

Everyone is different, of course, and it would be easy to dismiss my positive subjective experience after leaving Facebook as an anomaly or rationalization. According to a massive new study conducted by researchers at Stanford and New York University, I am far from alone.

The randomized study, which hasn’t been peer reviewed yet, measured the wellbeing of hundreds of individuals for a month after they left Facebook and found that the experience improved their subjective wellbeing, increased the amount of time they spent doing offline activities, and led to a significant reduction of Facebook use after the study was over.

“I would have expected more substitution from Facebook to other digital things—Twitter, Snapchat, online browsing,” Matthew Gentzkow, an economist at Stanford and co-author of the study, told the New York Times. “That didn’t happen, and for me at least, it was a surprise.”

It wasn’t all good news, however. The reduction of Facebook use also led to more time watching TV alone and also resulted in people being less factually informed about political news. The caveat to the last item, however, is that it also led to less polarized political opinions in the subjects.

The researchers conducted the study on 2,844 Facebook users in the run up to the 2018 midterms in November. The participants, who were recruited using Facebook ads, were asked how much money they would be willing to accept to leave Facebook for four weeks, which is another way of asking how much they valued a month of access to Facebook. Half of the participants who said they would leave Facebook for less than $100 were then randomly selected to join the month-long study.
Thoughts?
 
Dec 2018
1,476
925
Wisconsin
#3
The study showed that people who left facebook were less likely to be politically informed, but it doesn't mean people not on facebook are uninformed (not trying to say this is your position). I rarely use facebook, but I take in A LOT of political news via podcasts on all sides.

PS below is the link to the actual study if anyone is interested:

http://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/facebook.pdf
 
Dec 2015
15,021
13,893
Arizona
#5
I really do not understand this pooh-pooh Facebook argument. I love Facebook and the reason I love Facebook is that I have reconnected with my family, grade school/high school and college friends. I have conversations with neighbors and community members---teaching colleagues (some still teaching and some retired)--and STUDENTS who are all grown up and going to college, getting married/having babies. How can this be a bad thing??
I get to see photos of newborn babies and kids' birthday parties--vacation destinations and home redecorating. I get to read hilarious jokes and memes. I get newsy items and information about trends in education, technology and politics--environmental updates--world events. How is that a bad thing?
I get to read opinions, literally from SOUP to nuts. I get new recipe ideas. I get to share photos of my family--my grandson-- with those I love and those who love me. How is this a bad thing?
 
Likes: webguy4
Jan 2015
3,179
2,058
MD
#6
The study showed that people who left facebook were less likely to be politically informed, but it doesn't mean people not on facebook are uninformed (not trying to say this is your position). I rarely use facebook, but I take in A LOT of political news via podcasts on all sides.

PS below is the link to the actual study if anyone is interested:

http://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/facebook.pdf
“Informed” is an oxymoron. There’s more fake news and misinformation on Facebook and IG than anywhere else. I’m more informed using apps like Reddit and SmartNews than anything else.
 

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