Is Facebook Affecting Your Happiness?

Small breaks from reality can be a great stress reliever in our everyday lives? Whether it's watching a movie, looking up funny pictures and youtube videos, playing a game, or surfing social media sites, these breaks give us a chance to relax and take a break from the stress of our everyday lives. Facebook is one of the avenues people take provide a break from the real world. It has excelled at giving people a way to communicate with friends, acquaintances, and family from the comfort of your own home. However, Facebook use also has a down side. Aside from communication, Facebook gives people the option to "Like" statuses, photos, and life events of friends and acquaintances. I have always wondered if these seemingly insignificant digital actions can affect us. Can getting more likes improve our mood? Does have less facebook friends make you feel unliked? I decided to do something about these questions I had, and in the survey I conducted at San Diego Mesa College, I found a strong correlation between the number of likes one gets, and their general happiness. I decided to use both objective and subjective questions to get the most detailed results.


Out of 150 students interviewed, I found that 115, or 76.7%, of interviewees, had a Facebook account. The average number of friends, out of all the responses, was 380.

The interview questions are as follows:

1: On a 1-10 scale, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the greatest, how would you rate your overall happiness for the past 30 days?

1: Do you have a Facebook account?

2: On average, how many hours a day do you spend on Facebook?

3: How many Facebook friends do you have?

4: How many Facebook friends do you keep in contact with outside of Facebook?

5: On a 1-10 scale, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the greatest, which number do you feel best describes the number of likes you receive?

6: Do you feel the number of likes you receive affects your general happiness?

7: What is the biggest complaint you have with the interactions you have on Facebook.

8: What do you like the most about the interactions you have on Facebook


150 student were interviewed. Out of that 150, 79 were female and 71 were male. The ages of those surveyed were between 18-21.

The statistics for the questions are as follows:

1: The average score for overall happiness in the past 30 days was a 6.8.

2: 115, or 76.7%, out of 150 interviewees had a Facebook account.

3: On average, the interviewees spent between 2-3 hours a day on Facebook.

4: The average number of Facebook friends was 380.

5: On average, the interviewees kept in contact with 20 of their Facebook friends, outside of Facebook.

6: The average, on the scale for number of likes received, was 6.7.

7: The biggest complaint the interviewees had with their interactions on Facebook was feeling ignored.

8: Consequently, people felt that the the thing they liked most about their interactions on Facebook was feeling people cared about them.


For question 7 the people who answered, "Feeling ignored." had answered question 1 with an average happiness score of 4.2, question 3 with 3 or more hours spent on Facebook a day, question 4 with 150 friends or lower, question 5 with keeping in contact with 10, or less, Facebook Friends outside of Facebook, and question 6 with a score of 4. For question 8, the people who answered "Feeling cared for." had answered question 1 with an average happiness score of 7, question 3 with less than 2 hoursspent on Facebook a day, question 4 with 250+ friends, question 5 with 15 friends or higher, and question 6 with 7 or higher.


I do not feel this study represents concrete proof of a definite effect of Facebook users friends and likes effect on their happiness, There are many alternative factors that affect people's mood and happiness, but I do feel this survey offers an interesting glance at just how much Facebook can have an effect on people mood. I feel that what I, and hopefully others, can take away from this survey is having more interactions offline, will most likely have a positive effect on your happiness and mood.