Research from The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen in Denmark (one of the happiest countries in the world) has found that giving up your Facebook account boosts happiness and reduces anger and loneliness.
Life satisfaction rose significantly in the space of a week when participants were unable to read the updates of their friends. The institute was surprised by the changes in such a short time and wants to raise awareness on the influence of social media on feelings of fulfilment.
Facebook and other social media sites are “a constant flow of edited lives which distort our view of reality” it said in its report The Facebook Experiment.
They recruited over a thousand people in Denmark and asked half of them to avoid Facebook for a week. Participants were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 before and after the experiment.
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The author claims that a sex partition has sprung up which impedes women from building a vital network of contacts. This is as a result of the publicity about sexual harassment which has backfired on women who find it easy to network with other women but not with men, who still hold the power in many organisations.
She found that 2 out of 3 male executives were reluctant to even meet younger woman although they would not hesitate to ask a junior male colleague. Companies providing courses on sexual harassment and following up even minor perceived infringements don’t necessarily help.
When a man has to justify to HR why he opened a door for a woman (one of her examples) or complimented one on a new suit (and let’s not mention “stunning photos” on LinkedIn) you can see how men could become risk averse. There is even a term for fear of being accused of sexual harassment. It’s called “backlash stress“!
And don’t forget the fuss, largely in the US, about micro-aggressions.