Which Social Media Users Are Living Longer?

It’s possible posting photos of your kids and what you ate for dinner online isn’t a waste of time after all and can help to maintain strong social ties that lead to longevity.

New study results, published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” suggest those who interact on Facebook can improve their chances of survival because it encourages online friendships and offsets loneliness—a risk factor for mortality.

The study, led by researchers at the University of California-San Diego, evaluated the online activity of 12 million Facebook users born between 1945 and 1989 for six months. The researchers compared the activity of those still living with those who had died and determined that Facebook users live longer than those who are not online.

In a given year, the average Facebook user is approximately 12 percent less likely to die than someone who does not use the networking site.

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