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Science says lurking on Facebook this Christmas will kill your joy

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Emily Badiozzaman
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In case you hadn’t clocked on, your escape to Facebook when your family is driving you up the wall to look at seemingly more functional families and an ex getting sickeningly engaged on Christmas Eve doesn’t do much for your festive spirit.

It crushes it, according to science.

The University of Copenhagen studied the effect of “regular use of social networking such as Facebook” and found that it “can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life”.

Yeah no shit, you say. But notably, the biggest impact comes from those guilty of ‘lurking’ without commenting or engaging with anyone.

The envy and “unrealistic social comparisons” that comes with scowling at the smugness of your ‘friends’ causes a “deterioration of mood”.

There are two things you can do to head away from Scrooge and toward Santa on the scale of joy; be the annoying person that comments on everything or get off social media for a week.

Study participants who ditched Facebook for seven days showed a statistically significant improvement in wellbeing within that period, against those who stayed online as usual.

Even using other websites for 20 minutes helped, the study found. 

Can’t go cold turkey? Actively engaging in conversation was found to be a much more positive experience, though we’re not sure how much your ex would appreciate your heart-eyed emoji, ring emoji, triple exclamation mark comment.

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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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