Study Finds Taking Social Media Break has Good Effects

March 4, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. well-being / ˈwɛlˈbi ɪŋ / (n.) – the state of being satisfied, happy, or healthy
Example: The company takes care of the well-being of its employees by giving them enough vacation leaves. 

2. habitually / həˈbɪtʃ u ə li / (adv.) – regularly or repeatedly
Example: She habitually visits the park at 4:00 p.m.

3. depressive / dɪˈprɛs ɪv / (adj.) – characterized by feelings of sadness  
Example: The story had a depressive theme that made most of the readers cry.

4. point out / pɔɪnt aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to emphasize the importance of something
Example: The teacher pointed out the importance of learning.

5. light / laɪt / (adj.) – doing something less frequently than others
Example: He is a light user of the site who logs in for less than an hour every day.


Read the text below.
Taking a break from using social media can improve well-being and increase positive emotions.

The University of Copenhagen /ˌkoʊ pənˈheɪ gən / conducted a one-week experiment to find out if using Facebook affects the well-being of users. The study involved 1,095 Danish people. For the experiment, the participants were divided into two groups. One group was asked to keep using Facebook, while the other was told to stop using the site.

After a week, the participants who took a break from Facebook said that they felt a higher level of life satisfaction. The participants also said that they were less angry and lonely when they did not use the site. Furthermore, they claimed that they were able to focus on their tasks and had more time to socialize in the “real world.”

The researchers also found that using the site habitually has a negative impact on the well-being of some users. It may cause some to experience “Facebook envy,” or feeling jealous of posts about others’ happiness or success. The researchers said that using the site too much may stir up depressive feelings for people who experience Facebook envy.

Moreover, the researchers pointed out that people experience varying levels of sadness depending on whether they are heavy or light Facebook users, and depending on their interaction with other users while using the site. Those who use the site heavily and those who do not chat with their friends are likely to feel more depressed.

In relation to this, a study from the University of Pittsburgh found that a person’s risk of depression depends on the number of social media sites they use. Based on the results of the study, the risk of depression is three times higher among people who use seven to ten sites compared to those who use only two to three sites.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which would you more likely recommend to others: to take a break from using social media or to quit it for good? Why?
·         What can be good alternatives to using social media?

Discussion B

·         What are other possible negative effects of using social media? Give examples.
·         How can people avoid experiencing these negative effects? 

March 4, 2017