Study: A week without Facebook leads to a happier, less angry, less lonely life

marc andreessen just dumped a whole lot of facebook stock should anyone be worried happiness
It’s not difficult to find a study or an advocate supporting the notion that Facebook ruins lives – and here’s another one. The Happiness Research Institute released findings from a study showing how a group of participants who quit Facebook for a week were happier, less worried, and less lonely than a group who stayed on the social network.

The Denmark-based think tank recently published the results of its study in the report “The Facebook Experiment: Does Social Media Affect the Quality of Our Lives?” The experiment had 1,095 participants, half of whom were given the task of getting off Facebook for a week (the treatment group).

“After one week without Facebook, the treatment group reported a significantly higher level of life satisfaction,” according to the institute. Before the study, the control group rated their life satisfaction 7.67 on a scale of 1-10; after the study, the group rated their satisfaction 7.75. For the treatment group, life satisfaction was 7.56 before the study and 8.12 after the study.

The Happiness Research Institute also gauged both groups’ moods on the last day of the study. Among the findings: the treatment group was happier than the control group (88 percent vs. 81 percent), less worried (41 percent vs. 54 percent), less sad (22 percent vs. 34 percent), less angry (12 percent vs. 20 percent), more enthusiastic (61 percent vs. 49 percent), less depressed (22 percent vs. 33 percent), less lonely (16 percent vs. 25 percent), and more decisive (64 percent vs. 56 percent). The treatment group also said they enjoyed life more than the control group (84 percent vs. 75 percent).

The treatment group also experienced a larger boost in their social activity and their satisfaction with their social life after the study. It also reported less difficulty concentrating and a feeling that they wasted their time less than before.

“People on Facebook are 39 percent more likely to feel less happy than their friends,” according to the report.

This is, of course, far from the first study announcing the negative effects Facebook usage has on our lives. In 2012, a study conducted by sociologists at Utah Valley University found a correlation between a Facebook user’s disposition about their life and the amount of time they spend on the social network. A study last year from Charles Sturt University in Australia found that women who consider themselves lonely or depressed are more willing to self-disclose information on Facebook.

Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Home Theater

Cord-cutting has grown by 48 percent in 8 years, according to Nielsen

People are continuing to ditch cable but not all cord-cutters are the same. In fact, there are two distinct groups within the cord-cutting universe, with a very small, yet growing third group that's worth paying attention to.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Computing

Intel vs. AMD: Which chipmaker stole the show at CES 2019?

Intel and AMD have been competing for years, but rarely do they both debut something exciting at the same time. Intel vs. AMD at CES 2019 saw both companies step up to the plate. Who served it better?
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.