GOOD

Take A Break From Facebook, It May Seriously Improve Your Health

Lurking is as bad as we suspected

Image via Pexels

If looking at all of your friends’ pictures on Facebook didn’t make your holiday cheerier this year, you’re not alone. According to a recent study conducted by University of Copenhagen researchers and published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking, spending too much time on social media platforms can negatively affect your emotional well-being. This may sound like a no-brainer for some, but having the scientific evidence to back those suspicions up may be the impetus we need to kick-start a healthier online lifestyle.


After surveying more than 1,000 (mostly female) participants, researchers found that one of the most damaging habits involves “lurking”—otherwise known as “Facebook stalking”—without actually contacting anyone online. The key difference when it comes to Facebook’s affect on the mood is active versus passive use of the site. One of the most predictable feelings to arise from a passive behavior pattern is envy, along with a “deterioration of mood,” most likely caused by “unrealistic social comparisons.” In an era marked by photo filters and advanced editing tools, Kendall Jenner doesn’t solely have the ability to make us feel like liver-spotted mountain trolls, our friends and family do as well.

Another study conducted in 2015 revealed that teens who use social media platforms for more than two hours a day have a higher chance of suffering from mental illness. That represents roughly a quarter of the students surveyed as part of the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. On the flip side, the same social media networks that cause emotional distress also offer the opportunity to provide mental health services to teens who might not be able to find them otherwise.

So what can we do to curb these feelings of intense envy and self-deprecation? The answer is pretty simple, say the study’s writers. Limit your time on social media and consider using it for its intended purpose of connecting, rather than obsessing. The study found that the more you use the site, the benefits of limiting Facebook time tend to increase. Or you can always go the more militant route and ditch Facebook altogether. You’ll likely be happier for it.

Health
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

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Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

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Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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