Research suggests social media browsing helps us wind down
Browsing Facebook might help you relax a little
President Donald Trump: his ramblings on Twitter could meake us feel a little saner, classier, and literate in comparison. Photographer: Ron Sachs/Pool via Bloomberg
Don’t talk to me about Twitter or Facebook, says you. Everyone on social media is too worked up and they need to chill out; I can’t go near it without blowing a gasket. Well, research suggests otherwise. It seems as though, while posting on these platforms is associated with a little more drama and energy than we experience in everyday life, the act of browsing is associated with winding down: emotions like drowsiness and sleepiness.
Interestingly, browsing Facebook might help you relax a little but is also associated with “slightly elevated feelings of envy” while Twitter had the opposite effect. I think one take home message is that we should read some tweets to feel better about ourselves. Who hasn’t read POTUS’ ramblings and felt a little saner, classier, and literate in comparison?
“One thing I hope people feel as they read [my research/] is some reassurance that social media is not a terribly warped representation of us and is not doing extreme things to our emotions,” said Galen Panger, the Berkeley academic behind this research (who now works for Google).