William R. Hobbs, a postdoctorate research fellow in the Lazer Lab, co-led a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which suggests an association between moderate social media use and longer life.
“Given the very strong association between real-world interactions and better health, it could be that the more you have moderate interactions online, the more likely you are to be friends with your Facebook friends offline as well, reinforcing the relationships,” Hobbs says.
The study has garnered some major press already, including articles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Smithsonian.com. David Lazer, co-director of the NULab, praises the study, “It is innovative to connect Facebook behaviors to health and mortality outcomes…The identification of these patterns will hopefully spur further research on the nature of the relationship between our social networks and health-related outcomes.”
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