All over England today mums (and some dads) have a tear in their eye; it’s the start of the school year. Some rather small almost 5-year-olds will be off to Year R, whilst 11-year-olds start “Big School” today. Proud mums and dads will have waved off their youngsters outwardly smiling, internally with mixed emotions of happiness and anxiety for their offspring. We have all had feelings like this – when we have an instant change in our mood. Sometimes, it happens when you drive over the hill on a summer’s day and you see the coast at last – whoopee..! Or it happens when we wait at the railway station for our loved-one to return from a long trip away. At heart, we are all emotional.
Psychologists refer to the mood created by your emotion as “affect”. And there are all sorts of ways we can measure affect – high values show you are in a positive, happy mood, whereas low effect is when you are depressed, sad and feeling pretty much down.
An interesting study has been looking at affect when we engage in social networking sites and it seems that when we log in to Facebook our affect rises. In other words, Facebook makes us feel good. When people started using Facebook, their affect rose – in other words they were in an emotionally better place than they were before they opened up Facebook.
This study has important implications. For instance, companies that ban Facebook are missing a trick which will help their staff feel more positive and happy. Similarly, a quick look at Facebook every now and then could be just enough to help lighten the load of the day. Far from being a distraction, Facebook could be just the tonic you need to pep you up. And the study showed that Facebook usage for just three minutes had a more significant impact on mood than using traditional relaxation techniques, such as looking at a series of images of peaceful scenes.
In other words, Facebook is a serious relaxation tool. Feeling stressed out? Nip over to Facebook. Feeling a bit low? Log on to Facebook now…!
In fact encouraging your team to use Facebook regularly could work out to be a great way of raising positivity within your organisation.
- Facebook Surpasses 1 Trillion Pageviews Per Month [REPORT] (mashable.com)
- Facebook Launches Online Education Center For Businesses (hubspot.com)
- If You’re Happy and You Know It – FACEBOOK WILL DETECT IT (singularityhub.com)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+