(CAUSE & REMISSION) The Facebook Experiment: Quitting Facebook Leads to Higher Levels of Well-Being (2016)

Tromholt Morten. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. November 2016, 19(11): 661-666. doi:10.1089/cyber.2016.0259.

Published in Volume: 19 Issue 11: November 1, 2016


The article builds on research from my master thesis. The preliminary results of this study were presented in a publication facilitated by The Happiness Research Institute: www.happinessresearchinstitute.com/publications/4579836749.


Most people use Facebook on a daily basis; few are aware of the consequences. Based on a 1-week experiment with 1,095 participants in late 2015 in Denmark, this study provides causal evidence that Facebook use affects our well-being negatively. By comparing the treatment group (participants who took a break from Facebook) with the control group (participants who kept using Facebook), it was demonstrated that taking a break from Facebook has positive effects on the two dimensions of well-being: our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that these effects were significantly greater for heavy Facebook users, passive Facebook users, and users who tend to envy others on Facebook.