Since the dawn of the Internet, people have been spending more and more time on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Is this good or bad for human health and wellness?
Some studies suggest that it is vital to your health to unplug from your technological devices, like unplugging from the “Matrix,” in order to live a happier and healthier life.
Possibly one of the main reasons for people’s devotion to the Internet is social media, especially Facebook. Social media may be considered a drug addiction by clinical standards, and Facebook is one of the main social media dealers on the corner.
Since Facebook’s 2004 inception, it has racked up 1.1 billion users. From Facebook being a distraction to it actually being bad for your health, here are a few life-improving reasons you may want to “unlike” Facebook, and log out for good.
Facebook is a time waster. How many minutes and hours do you spend on Facebook every day, week, or even month? It is easy to get sucked into the newest trending article, or photos from a friend’s trip to Europe.
Facebook is undoubtedly a time waster, with research suggesting that the average Facebook user logs approximately 17 minutes per day. The casual Facebook user will spend roughly 40 days per year browsing the site, with a more engaged user spending around 150 days per year.
You will have more time with your family and friends — face-to-face time. If you decide to unplug from the world of social media and “just say no” to Facebook, you will have more free time. You will also be less distracted while actually spending time with family and friends, without the constant dings and vibrations coming from your phone.
Quality time and building real communication with friends and family may be one of the most important aspects of being human.
You may increase your health and wellness. Researchers from the Department of Economics and Law at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR), National Research University Higher School of Economics in Russia, examined Facebook in relation to health. They found that time on Facebook could possibly have an effect on digestion, vision, sleep, happiness, and immune function.
Logging out of Facebook for good may be a healthy lifestyle choice.
Facebook has used you as a lab rat for experiments. In 2012, Facebook conducted an experiment to see the monetary benefits of a few of their online tools, such as the “Like” button. The experiment involved nearly 700,000 Facebook accounts, according to research published in PNAS (2014). Researchers found that Facebook edited posts in order to evoke emotional reactions.
The study concluded, “These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.” You could be a participant in a social media experiment without even knowing.
No more bothersome pop-up advertisements and invasions of your privacy. If you get angry at the barrage of telemarketing phone calls you receive, then in a sense, Facebook is no different. Facebook essentially uses your browsing information to target you for certain advertisements that will pop up while you’re on the site.
If you browse flights and hotels for, say, Italy, then you will possibly begin seeing a wide variety of Italy advertisements popping up in your social media networks.
Do you even know who your Facebook “friends” are anymore? You may have taken a short backpacking trip through Europe or Central America, and you may have met a few people along the way who were interesting. What’s next? You add each other to your friends list on Facebook and never have contact again. It is estimated that half of all Facebook users have roughly 200 friends, according to the Pew Research Center.
Take a look at your friends list, and note who you actually talked to in 2015. You may be surprised.
You can enjoy the world again. The world is an awe-inspiring place of beauty, and with your nose up from your phone or tablet, you may find yourself venturing into the world a bit more. Without the urge to check in on what your Facebook friends are posting several times a day, you may find it easier to enjoy a few other passions you have been putting off.
Facebook has enjoyed great success, and they will most likely survive even if you decide to log out forever. Sure, it’s great to have a social media connection with everyone you know from around the world, but at what cost? If you are a low-level user of Facebook, then you may be just fine. However, if you fall into the 150-days-a-year category, things may not be as healthy as they appear.
I am planning to go without Facebook for all of 2016 in an effort to improve my communication with others and create more time for friends, family, and myself.
Can you go one year without Facebook?
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.