The University of Copenhagen recently conducted a study with some surprising results. Those who are “addicted” to social media sites particularly during the Holiday Season, such as Facebook, are as likely to make you unhappy and envious of others as deliver seasonal happiness. This study, with over 1,000 participants, found that there is a negative result of spending long stretches of time on social media.
The university’s recommendation is that you “take a break” from visiting social media sites during the Holiday Season. This typically will preserve your emotional stability and positive outlook on life in general. Why?
Problems with Frequent Social Media Browsing During the Holidays
Spending long hours on Facebook or other social media, seeing all those families enjoying the season, can fill you with envy at all the fun they seem to be having, making you more dissatisfied with your “lot in life.” Most people realize that posed photos or scripted videos often do not represent the true status of the people depicted in the images.
Study researchers found that many ‘Net surfers experience unwelcome mood “deteriorations” for those spending lots of time viewing the happy pictures and reading the equally happy stories of others. Along with these unwanted mood changes, you may suffer “unrealistic” comparisons to your Facebook friends’ seemingly perfect families.
The U of Copenhagen recommends you do more than look, but engage in conversations and connect with those whose social media sites you visit. You should find this to be a much more positive experience than maintaining your animosity as being a social media voyeur.
The study indicates you’ll change your mood from negative to positive if you connect with people on social media rather than remain a passive observer. While conversations on social media are less beneficial than in-person interaction, they are much more positive than simply enduring those “happy family” photos.
You should resist the temptation to spend your valuable leisure time making inferences from viewing photos of your friends on Holiday vacations on the ski slopes or in warm destinations on the beach. University researchers recommend that you suspend visits to social media sites for, at least, one week during the Holiday Season to avoid depressive thoughts.
This U of Copenhagen study appeared in the magazine, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Since more women than men are regular active visitors to Facebook and other social media sites, it’s not surprising that the majority of 1,000-plus study participants were women.
Don’t become a victim of envy, a progressively more vital condition of personal dissatisfaction. If you are compelled to visit social media sites during the Holidays, avoid making potentially mistaken assumptions about the real happiness of the posted words or pictures of the holiday revelers.
When you view your friends’ social media pages, connect with them. Even if your conversation borders on “mindless drivel,” it may spike up your mood and satisfaction with your life. If you can, just stay away from social media sites during the holidays.