SCIENCE
11/12/2015 12:10 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2015

Facebook Is Keeping You From Being Happy, Study Suggests

We don't like this.

Facebook is ruining all of our lives.

Okay, so that's not completely true, but a new study from the cheerily-named Happiness Research Institute suggests that staying off Facebook can actually make you happier.

Not that this isn't something we haven't already heard before. Many times. But, hey, let's reinforce it, shall we?

This study surveyed 1,095 people in Denmark -- so, for what it's worth, maybe Facebook is just ruining the lives of Danish people. The sample group, comprised of individuals who were an average age of 33, was divided into two halves: One carried on with their Facebook use as usual, while the other stopped using the social media site entirely, per Phys.org.

A week later, 88 percent of those not on Facebook said they were happy, compared to the 81 percent still on Facebook. Also, 84 percent of the nonusers said they appreciated their lives, while only 75 percent of the Facebook users felt that way. 

Based on those numbers alone, we're not really sold on Facebook being so bad. But then, there's this: A mere 12 percent of the people who didn't use Facebook said they described themselves as "dissatisfied," whereas 20 percent of the Facebook users indicated they felt that way. The Facebook users were also 55 percent more likely to feel stressed, says Quartz.

To add insult to injury, the people who didn't use Facebook said that after the week was over, they had a better social life and less trouble concentrating, whereas the Facebook users experienced no change in either area. 

Happiness Research Institute CEO Meik Wiking told The Huffington Post that he and his team "were quite surprised with the results." When asked how his study differs from similar ones, Wiking said that "other studies are just a snapshot in time," covering merely a day or an afternoon as opposed to a series of days. 

"If you don't follow people all the time, you can't say that they are happier," he said. "There's no way to tell if that person is more inclined to feel happy than another."

Wiking said that he actually deleted the Facebook app and encourages current users "to post not only the great things that happen, but perhaps a more nuanced view of how their life actually happens."

The moral here is: Use Facebook at your own risk and maybe find some other ways to spend your time. There's always Netflix and chilling.

CONVERSATIONS