social media break vacation health

Why We All Need A Social Media Break

09 Apr 2018

There is proof that time away from social media could have health benefits

Having a "vacation" from social media has become pretty normal in this day and age, with stars like Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Selena Gomez all previously taking a break from oversharing online.

And now experts have found that having a little holiday away from Facebook, five days to be exact, reduces people's stress levels.

A team, led by Dr. Eric Vanman from the University of Queensland, analysed 138 active Facebook users. Some of the team were asked to quit the social media platform for five days, while others were allowed to continue using it as normal.

Participants were asked how stressed they felt both before and after the study, and saliva samples were also taken to measure levels of stress hormone cortisol.

"Our results suggest that the typical Facebook user may occasionally find the large amount of social information available taxing and Facebook vacations could ameliorate this stress - at least in the short term," authors wrote.

However, despite enjoying being able to escape the deluge of information presented when signing into Facebook, participants also reported a reduced sense of wellbeing after not visiting the website for less than a week, and many told the researchers they were happy to check in again after the study was over.

"People said they felt more unsatisfied with their life and were looking forward to resuming their Facebook activity," Dr. Vanman noted in the Journal of Social Psychology.

"It seems that people take a break because they're too stressed but return to Facebook whenever they feel unhappy because they have been cut off from their friends. It then becomes stressful again after a while, so they take another break. And so on."

So next time you're on an actual holiday, why not leave your Facebook account at home for the duration of your trip - where it belongs.