When we start to thinking about the things we think might make us happy but don't make us as happy as we think. Another thing that we have to take into account is how we spend our leisure time. I think students these days don't have as much free time for leisure. But when you do have free time for leisure, you use it in a particular way. We can ask whether or not the way we use it is really making us as happy as we think. When we think about how teens spend a lot of their time, what it seems like is they spent a lot of their free time on screens. Screens that look like this, watching television, watching Netflix. But oftentimes screens that look like this, where you're going to be clicking on TikTok to watch the next video. That raises an interesting question, which is like, is the use of apps like TikTok, other social media apps, is this the thing that is making us happier? What's your first guess? People think it makes us happier and not so happy. What do you think? No. Not so happy, which is sad that you're always saying that because you use this stuff a lot. But let's look at what the data suggests. This is something that people have been studying for a while. One of my favorite earliest studies on this came out from the Institute of Labor Economics, which did this big report on social media back in 2016. What was their big conclusion from this study? They say spending one hour per day on social networks reduces the probability of being completely satisfied with life overall, by 14 percentage points. Not very good. But this is 2016, where social media had been around for a while, but things like TikTok wasn't really around. Instagram wasn't really as much of a thing. Like what's going on now at the social media apps that most of you in this room are using versus what people were using in 2016. This is a part where we realize that there are lots and lots of studies on this question. This is something that people have studied in really great detail. We've talked about meta-analysis in some of the videos before, But this is the statistical technique where you take a bunch of studies at once and combine them mathematically. That means that statistically and it's like nerdy scientific way you have the way to look for a single conclusion that has big statistical power. This is what we need with social media where there's so many nuances to it. Appel and colleagues did this. They actually brought together a bunch of different meta-analysis. You try to figure out what was going on with social network use and well-being. What do they find? They find that the effect overall isn't huge, but it's a very significant negative effect. It's a small negative effect on people's well-being. The correlation between people's well-being going up and social media use is a negative one. It's small, but it's there suggesting overall the time that we're all, spending on social networks isn't making us really as happy as we think. It might not be as dire as some of the media studies make it out to be, but overall, it's not good. There's an opportunity cost of spending time on social media. That raises this interesting question because these apps and the things that you see on these apps are enjoyable. Could there be a better or worse way to use social media? Maybe the reason that people aren't getting the well-being boost out of it is that they're not using it right. This was something that the psychologists Ethan Kross and his colleagues were really interested in. In fact, they did a study where they had the hypothesis that some ways of using social media might be better than others. One of the things they propose is that active social media use when you go on social network sites and you're using them actively like you're posting things, you're updating your status, you're talking with other users, you're getting social connection, maybe that's not that bad. Maybe the bad part of social media use is what we might call passive social media use; when you go on the site but all you're doing is scrolling through, lurking, just looking at other people's stuff, but not actually doing anything that really connects you. The idea behind social media is that it's social, but sometimes it's really asocial, where we're just scrolling and watching stuff. They hypothesize or maybe if you could force people to be more active, maybe it would make people a little bit happier on these sites. That's just what they did. They brought subjects in, measured people's affect of well-being. Again, this is the emotional side of happiness. What's your mood like? Then they assigned people to use social media. In this case, it was Facebook, for 10 minutes, either actively or they're posting stuff, commenting on stuff, doing stuff that's really social, or passively; they're just spending 10 minutes lurking. Then they redid their well-being measure right at the end of using social media and then way at the end of the day. You can see if there's some long-term effects to using social media in certain ways. We're going to look at whether or not people report doing what they just did a lot of the time. They also wanted to figure out how do people tend to use the site? Did they use it actively or do they use it passively? Here's the graph of what they found. I'm first going to show you the active social media use, and this is people's effect of well-being. Bigger bars is like people are feeling better. What you find is that when people are using social media actively, it's not so much that it helps, the line is pretty flat, but it doesn't hurt you as much. Even at the end of the day, you're like feeling the same mood as before. The problem is that when you're using social media passively, what we see as a dip in people's well-being. Interestingly, the dip doesn't happen as soon as you close the app. It's not right at the end of your use. It's a dip that happens way later at the end of the day where your mood has [inaudible] because you use this stuff passively. This suggests, maybe a way that we can use social media better. Like we can just use it actively and hopefully, people would be using it that way. But another sad thing that the study found is if you look at how students tend to use Facebook and other social media sites, they tend to more often be using it passively than actively. People are using these sites in the exact way that makes you feel the worst. That's sad and it requires another meme. I should stop working on social media or my feelings will feel bad, but then you keep doing it, which is pretty sad. This is, overall, something I think we need to be taking into account. If you look at years from now, how your generation spent its most hours, it would be on apps like this and this is an opportunity cost of other things you could be doing that could be improving your well-being better. It's really something we need to be thinking about as we think about the behaviors that we engage in because we might think they're enjoyable, we think they make us happy, but they don't really.