Social media in our lives

Social media has become very important in our lives. We spend many hours in front of the screen. For this reason, in the last years, many studies and writings have talked about why social media are bad for our health.

However, a new study has found that time spent in social media might be associated with a longer life.

Social interaction is very important for human beings, and social media have increased online interaction, which it is mainly associated with longevity, according to this new study.

Isabel Rangel Baron - Facebook can improve our health
Isabel Rangel Baron – Social networks in our lives

The researchers compared 12 million Facebook users to nonusers to determine if social networks are associated or not with a longer life. They found that “people with more friends online are less likely to die than their disconnected counterparts.”

This research rebuts the studies that affirm that social media are bad for health.  However, some could doubt about the results obtained because two of the researchers worked at Facebook. One of them was William Hobbs, a postdoctoral fellow at the Northeastern University worked at Facebook. But he affirmed that Facebook did not interfere with the research results.

People using many social networks live longer!

Researchers found that a moderate use of Facebook is associated with the lowest mortality rate. They also found that people who use many social networks lived longer than those who had very small social networks. Indeed, there is no evidence in the results which could indicate that Facebook directly affects a person’s health.

James Fowler, a professor of public health and political science at the University of California, said that “the reason why people with more friends are healthier is because healthier people have more friends.” So, social media are not associated with health.

Isabel Rangel  Baron - Facebook and its use
Isabel Rangel Baron – Facebook may be associated with good health

William Hobbs said, “we’re not making any recommendations on how people should use social media.”

This study is an advance on how social networks and online interaction influence our lives.

 

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