A new study found people are happier when they leave Facebook, but they have a harder time keeping up with current events.
Researchers at New York University and Stanford University looked at what happened to people who deactivated their accounts.
They found “Facebook plays an important role as a source of (real) news and information,” and that it does improve some aspects of life, whether “as a source of entertainment, a means to organize a charity or an activist group, or a vital social lifeline for those who are otherwise isolated.”
Researchers also found a number of downsides. Participants who went four weeks without Facebook reported more free time and an improvement in their well-being. They had less desire to use Facebook after the experiment than they did before, “suggesting that forces such as addiction and projection bias may cause people to use Facebook more than they otherwise would.”
The study suggested people’s views became less polarized after some time away from Facebook as well.