While many people believe that social media and Facebook in particular makes us more distracted in our work and has a great impact in our productivity, some scientists found that, despite all concerns, Facebook helps us live longer. maintain and even improve out offline social life.
The study that followed 12 million users was developed by two professors from the University of California San Diego in collaboration with Yale and Facebook.
Some years back studies showed that interacting with friends, family and members of community helped us live longer and stay happier.
Now the new study seems to find a correlation between interaction on Facebook and our well-being in our time spent offline.
“Interacting online seems to be healthy when the online activity is moderate and complements interactions offline. It is only on the extreme end, spending a lot of time online with little evidence of being connected to people otherwise, that we see a negative association.” said William Hobbs who worked in the study as a doctoral student.
It is worth mentioning that the researchers followed people for over six months and focused on those born between 1945 and 1989, from similar age groups and gender. The scientists observed the number of friends, photos, status updates, relationship status, time spent on the social network (both on computers and smartphones) and messages sent in order to decide if an active Facebook presence is correlated with longer lives. Thus, results showed that people with a prominent presence on Facebook (30 to 50% of most popular people) live longer that those that are less active on the network.
The study result are somehow predictable, but what concerns me the most is how they got the data for their study. Isn’t that a concern for privacy? Can Facebook really use our info and what we post in any way they like? In this case and many others I suppose they can do anything they please. Private is the new public?