A new study shows that 12 million Facebook users are likely to live longer. This is associated with the objective of the site which is to maintain and enhance real world friendships.
Researchers noted that the study was observational and does not necessary mean using Facebook leads to a longer life. However, the study implies that the health benefits of social connections extend to those on the internet.
William Hobbs, who worked on the study said, “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.”
The study showed that in a given year, the average Facebook user is about 12 percent less likely to die than someone who does not use the social networking site. Facebook users who accepted the most friendships are also found to live longer.
According to James Fowler, professor of political science in the UC San Diego for Social Science, “Happily, for almost all Facebook users, what we found is balanced use and a lower risk of mortality. Social relationships seem to be as predictive of lifespan as smoking, and more predictive than obesity and physical inactivity. What happens on Facebook and other social networks is very likely important.
“But what we can’t do at this time is give either individual or larger policy recommendations based on this first work.”