Facebook Might Be Linked To A Longer Life

If you're one of those people who absent-mindedly browses Facebook during literally every spare moment in the day, here's some good news. A paper published in the journal PNAS on Monday found that having an active social life online could be associated with a longer life in general, so don't put down that phone.

In short, researchers found that a busy social life on the web mirrors the effects of active social lives IRL. They share the same benefits, but with one, you can wear sweatpants.

“We find that people with more friends online are less likely to die than their disconnected counterparts,” reads the paper, according to The New York Times. “This evidence contradicts assertions that social media have had a net-negative impact on health.”

This conclusion is based on over 12 million social media profiles made available by Facebook, as well as health records in the state of California. Those who showed "moderate use" of the social network were linked with the lowest mortality rate. On top of that, the more friend requests received, the lower the mortality rate. However, this is not the case when it comes to sending friend requests, so don't get desperate.

No matter where you fall on the social media scale, none of this is set in stone. “At this point, we’re not making any recommendations on how people should use social media,” Mr. Hobbs, a doctoral student at the University of California, San Diego, said. “It’s good to have a long track record of finding these relationships again and again before we start giving recommendations.”

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