The Journal of social psychology | 21 Mar 2018
E Vanman, R Baker and S Tobin
People occasionally choose to cut themselves off from their online social network by taking extended breaks from Facebook. This study investigated whether abstaining from Facebook reduces stress but also reduces subjective well-being because of the resulting social disconnection. Participants (138 active Facebook users) were assigned to either a condition in which they were instructed to give up Facebook for five days or continue to use Facebook as normal. Perceived stress and well-being, as well as salivary cortisol, were measured before and after the test period. Relative to those in the Facebook Normal condition, those in the No Facebook condition experienced lower levels of cortisol and life satisfaction. 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.
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