According to a recent research, spending too long on Facebook at Christmas time – and seeing all those “perfect” families and holiday photos – is more likely to make you miserable than festive.
The University of Copenhagen study suggests excessive use of social media can create feelings of envy.
Researchers particularly warn about the negative impact of “lurking” on social media without connecting with anyone.
It suggests taking a break from using social media during Christmas time.
The study of more than 1,300 participants, mostly women, says that “regular use of social networking such as Facebook can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life”.
Researchers warn of envy and a “deterioration of mood” from spending too long looking at other people’s social media stories, induced by “unrealistic social comparisons”.
If this suggests a picture of long irritable hours over a screen, depressed by the boasts and posts of others, then the researchers say that it does not need to be this way.
The study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking suggests that actively engaging in conversation and connecting with people on social media seems to be a much more positive experience.
This seems to be much less gloomy than “passive” users who spend too long “lurking” on social networking websites without getting involved.
Researchers say another approach to improve well-being is to stop using social media altogether for a week.