'Like' this to live longer

Posted by Paul Anderson Riley in Personal Finance on 17 November 2016 - Paul is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

Spending time on online social networking can seem like a waste of time; aimlessly scrolling through reams of pictures of cats, your best friend’s opinion on Trump, and drunken nights out. What if this time spent online was helping you to live longer- well a new study suggests that Facebook will help you to live a longer life.

A new study of 12m Facebook users has revealed that people who use Facebook are more likely to live longer. Scientists have made evaluations long ago that those with well-developed social networks and relationships tend to live longer and this is now reflected through the online world.

The study only focusses on the link between Facebook and life expectancy, because of this it can’t comment which causes the other, but it evaluates that those who use Facebook live longer lives than those who are not users. The research was undertaken by University of California San Diego, in partnership with Facebook and Yale.

The research revealed that a Facebook user is around 12% less likely to die in any given year than someone that doesn’t use the site. They looked at the way that users interacted on Facebook using data such as how many friends they have, the amount of status updates and the amount of photos post online.

Author William Hobbs states, "Interacting online seems to be healthy when the online activity is moderate and complements interactions offline…It is only on the extreme end, spending a lot of time online with little evidence of being connected to people otherwise, that we see a negative association."

Another result that the study revealed is that those with larger social networks tend to live even longer. Those who have profiles that indicate frequent offline interactions are also more likely to live the longest.

The fact that Facebook have assisted in a study that suggests if you use Facebook you are likely to live longer may cast a few doubts on this work but if you are using it anyway, here’s to hoping that the time wasted on social media will give you more time in old age.

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