The social interactions we have online are found to contribute to longevity just like face-to-face relationships.
Social media such as Facebook has been blamed for the modern trend of less face-to-face relationships. Some people refuse to join up while the majority log into sites such as Facebook several times a day to catch up on friends’ lives.
It seems a new study is advocating the social media interaction such as likes, loves, shares and comments by suggesting using Facebook could help you to live longer.
A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego, have found using the popular networking site can lower the risk of death by nearly 12 percent. It is well known that social interactions are crucial for human survival but this is the first study to prove that of online interactions.
The team looked at 12 million Facebook users in California and matched them against records from the California Department of Public Health. They analyzed online activity over six months and compared this with people who had died. They found people who signed up and used the site were 12 percent less likely to live longer than those who hadn’t.
The amount of interaction on the site such as posting photos and updating status’ also found to show a correlation with longevity. The more Facebook friends someone has also showed life longevity mirroring the same results found in studies looking at offline personal face-to-face interactions.
“Happily, for almost all Facebook users, what we found is balanced use and a lower risk of mortality, “ said James Fowler, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego. “The association between longevity and social networks was identified in 1979 and has been replicated hundreds of times since. “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.”
It shows that connecting online isn’t so bad, however, spending a lot of time online with little evidence of being connected to people on a personal level shows signs of a negative association.
Details of the study can be found in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.