Leaving Facebook will make you happier, and study says you won’t miss it

Everyone’s got that one self-righteous mate, haven’t they? Crowing about how much happier they are since they left Facebook, while urging you to do the same.

Indeed, there has been plenty of indications we’d all be better off if we – at least – took a break from the watchful eye of Mark Zuckerberg’s grand data harvesting operation every once in a while.

Heck, even Facebook admitted that prolonged use can lead damage users’ mental health. Well now there’s even stronger evidence to back up the claim that life can be better without Facebook.

A new study from NYU and Stanford says Facebook users who quit the service for a month were happier for it. They also felt more satisfied with life overall, as well as diminished feelings of depression, loneliness and anxiety.

Related: How to delete your Facebook account

Also, they felt less inclined to use other social networks, as well as being less reliant on Facebook when the month-long account deactivation came to an end.

The study worked with 2,488 people who averaged an hour a day on Facebook, but still afforded them access to the Messenger service during the test period.

Of course this might be key in the overall findings, especially as pertains to feelings of anxiety (fear of missing messages), or loneliness (being unable to reach out to friends through the messages). As TechCrunch points out in its analysis, the study effectively removed the elements of the platform associated with the ill feelings.

However, the research also reported a diminished appetite for using Facebook once their enforced month in exile ended.

“Reduced post-experiment use aligns with our finding that deactivation improved subjective well-being, and it is also consistent with the hypotheses that Facebook is habit forming… or that people learned that they enjoy life without Facebook more than they had anticipated,” the authors said.

Have you deleted or deactivated your Facebook account? Do you feel better for it? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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