Doomscroll much? Happier people spend less time online, study finds


(NEW YORK) — Leave it to 2020 to create the term ‘doomscrolling’ — that is, scrolling through endless stories of doom and gloom on social media.  Countless words have been written about our addiction to our phones and social media sites.  Could the key to a happier life be as simple as taking a break from it?

Yes, as it happens.  At least, according to a recent survey by Denmark’s Happiness Research Institute.

The study surveyed 1,095 people, 94% of whom said they checked Facebook at least once a day, with 78% of those saying they spent at least a half-hour on the site.  The participants were then split into two groups, one of whom was instructed to keep on using Facebook as they normally do, while the others were told not to check Facebook at all.

One week later, the folks who avoided Facebook admitted they felt happier, more enthusiastic and less stressed.  By comparison, their doomscrolling counterparts were 55% more likely to be stressed out, with symptoms including sadness, depression, anger and loneliness.  They were also 18% less likely to feel present in the moment.

Once the numbers were crunched, the researchers concluded that regular Facebook users were 39% more likely to feel less happy than their counterparts. 

So the next time you’re feeling stressed or depressed, take a break from social media.  After all, if you need your doomscroll fix, there’s always all those TV political ads.

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