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- The largest independent study of its kind finds no evidence of Facebook's negative impact on well-being.
- Instead, the analysis suggests a possible positive relation.
- The research used well-being data from nearly a million people across 72 countries over 12 years.
Overview of the study
The Oxford Internet Institute conducted a comprehensive study led by Professors Andrew Przybylski and Matti Vuorre. They analyzed well-being data from nearly a million people across 72 countries over 12 years, alongside actual usage data from millions of Facebook users. This large-scale study aimed to investigate the global impact of Facebook on psychological well-being.
Contrary to popular beliefs, the study found no consistent link between Facebook's spread and negative well-being. Instead, the analysis suggests a possible positive relation.
The researchers used existing well-being data from Gallup and Facebook data on global platform membership. Facebook provided data access but did not influence the study's design or its findings.
The study also explored age and gender differences in Facebook's impact on well-being. It found slightly more positive associations for males and younger individuals across countries, although these trends were not significant.
Matches other studies
This research aligns with previous studies by the Oxford team, which also did not find increasingly negative psychological outcomes from technology use over time. It calls for more empirical research foundations in the debate about social media's impact on users.
In line with this study, Warp News has previously highlighted similar findings. In an article titled we showed how recent studies suggest that the global adoption of the internet has not led to negative psychological outcomes. This reinforces the idea that the relationship between technology, including social media like Facebook, and well-being is more complex and less dire than often portrayed.
Source: Oxford Internet Institute