If you want to be happier get off Facebook
I recently spent a bank holiday weekend on my own. Meagan was working in London and the kids were at her mothers.
This was my Saturday:
Wake up and wonder why I can’t hear Monty crying or Fred shouting, then I realise I’m in the house on my own.
I grab my phone, check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.
Get into my kit and do the bleep test in the cul-de-sac, where I live. I sense neighbours secretly looking at me, wondering if I’m sane.
Sweating, I go back indoors and put some coloured washing on.
I eat some cereal watching BBC breakfast. Have toasted banana and honey sandwich washed down with a coffee. Undoubtedly one of my favourites.
I check my email, Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.
I go up stairs, shave my head and face.
Have a long shower. As a treat, I decide to use both soap and shower gel.
Get out of shower, pick up my iphone check my email, Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.
Go downstairs, edit a video and start to write a blog.
Check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Go to Asda.
Someone vacates the best car parking space right outside the shop doors just as I approach – I smile to myself, thinking, “Yes!”
Spend far too long looking at the ingredients on various packs of ham.
Get back home put the food away and hang the coloured washing out.
Go on a bike ride to Winchester, where I discover a bike route that takes me past some very picturesque scenery.
Get back and tidy away all the kids toys in the garden.
Notice cats poo in two different areas. That’s the neighbours cat. I assume its their cat, although he’s a bit odd.
Check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap and LinkedIn.
Put some more washing on.
Order a chicken korma, pilau rice and peshwari naan from the local curry house.
As I go to pick it up Liza Tarbuck makes me laugh on BBC Radio 2.
She gets a text, “Liza I had an ex-boyfriend who used to de-eye potatoes for a crisp maker. He gave that up to be a muesli mixer. He reckons it was more interesting”.
Eat the curry whilst watching, Grand Designs. Against all odds (again) the couple featured just manage to secure some extra financing, to finish their project.
Watch Britain’s Got Talent.
Switch everything off and go to bed.
In bed, I check my email then look at Facebook, Twitter, HappyMap, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Try meditating for 5 minutes.
Go to sleep.
BORING WASN’T IT????!!!!!
Well most of it was but there were bits I really enjoyed, like the cycling, the banana and honey sandwich and the blog writing.
There was also little pleasures like getting a good car parking space or laughing out loud to myself in the car but that’s life. Most of it isn’t mind blowingly amazing.
Happiness arrives in short little bursts. It’s not a 24 hour party.
There’s one thing I discovered from my day on my own. Facebook, more than any other social network, made me feel depressed.
I felt like I was missing out on a lot of stuff. My life felt dull, ordinary and boring compared to what others were doing.
Then I realised that most of the stuff my “friends” post on Facebook (or Instagram) isn’t an accurate reflection of their lives.
It’s their highlights. It’s their best bits. It’s the bits they want me to believe IS their actual life but isn’t. It’s their attempt to show everyone they don’t lead dull, ordinary, boring lives.
It isn’t reality, it’s them boasting about anything they’ve done that is out of the ordinary.
So I started typing, into Google, “Is Facebook d” but it auto filled the rest for me…
The results are conclusive.
A study from the University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross found that the more people used Facebook the less happy they felt.
The data, he argues, shows that Facebook was making them unhappy.
This is why more people than ever are closing their Facebook accounts down.
You will never look back over you life and say to yourself, “I wish I’d spent more time on Facebook”
These days, we are so addicted to Facebook (and Twitter & Instagram) sometimes the only point in taking pictures is to boast them… sorry post them on Facebook. This is not a good reason to take a picture in the first place.
Taking a picture just to post it onto a social network dilutes the worth of that experience alone.
First and foremost an enjoyable event should be experienced and enjoyed in the moment not held up to prove to other people we have an interesting life.
If we have to do this, we have no interest in our actual life all we’re doing is comparing our experiences with others and comparison is the thief of joy and security.
If it’s “likes” we’re after, our enjoyment resides solely in the hands of our, “friends” on Facebook.
You’re probably thinking, “Hang on happymap.com is a social network similar to Facebook.
Yes, you’re right but here’s 3 big differences.
1. We only encourage people to spend an average of 1 minute per day to answer the question, “What made you happy today?”
The rest of the day is for living.
2. HappyMap is also about being grateful not showing off. There’s a massive difference..
3. HappyMap makes people happier.
So if you feel depressed after looking at Facebook, you are not alone, close it down and do something!
Does HappyMap make you feel happier?
According to our data we’ve collected yes – but don’t take our word for it read these testimonials from people who have completed our 21-day happiness challenge.