People who use Facebook live longer, claims new study

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Regardless of how many “likes” you get, people who use Facebook live longer, according to a new study of 12 million users.

The findings are not particularly new; those that have stronger social bonds live longer.

The study was lead by Dr. William Hobbs and was conducted as a San Diego doctoral student in political science.

“Interacting online seems to be healthy when the online activity is moderate and complements interactions offline,” he said.

“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.”

Senior author Professor James Fowler, of UC San Diego, said: “Happily, for almost all Facebook users, what we found is balanced use and a lower risk of mortality.”

The study matched Facebook users in California with vital records from the California Department of Public Health comparing over a six month period those users still living and those who had died. The comparisons were between people of a similar age and gender and born between 1945 and 1989.

The first findings found that on average, those that used Facebook lived longer and indeed the average Facebook user was 12% less likely to die than someone who didn’t use the site.

Further to this, those that had more friends and made more postings, those in the top 30% to 50% lived longer than those in the bottom 10%. Those that who made the most posting only showed moderate correlation associated with mortality.

Professor Fowler went on: “The association between longevity and social networks was identified by Lisa Berkman in 1979 and has been replicated hundreds of times since.

“In fact, a recent meta-analysis suggests the connection may be very strong. Social relationships seem to be as predictive of lifespan as smoking, and more predictive than obesity and physical inactivity.

“We’re adding to that conversation by showing that online relationships are associated with longevity, too.”

Source: UC San Diego News Centre

Via: CBS News

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