Stork, J. (2019). A Facebook strategy for wellbeing [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Middlesex University.

This study examines the potential of an evidence-based strategy for using Facebook to improve subjective well-being. Using Seligman’s five-factor PERMA model of well-being as a guide, four categories of Facebook configuration and behavioral changes were identified (Facebook Time, Alerts & Notifications, Content and Engagement – F.A.C.E.) which were anticipated to touch on each of the five well-being factors under PERMA, forming the basis of a Facebook Strategy for Well-Being (FSW). Five participants utilized the FSW over two 7-day phases of the study. Using a mixed methods approach. Self-reports of qualitative and quantitative measures of subjective well-being, along with overall sentiments around Facebook use and content, were evaluated. The major themes which emerged following the FSW were a sense of feeling “empowered” and experiencing more “preferred content” on the Facebook News Feed. Positive sentiments in each F.A.C.E category increased as well as overall Facebook experience, following the FSW. Quantitative measures of SWB obtained with the PERMA-Profiler found that 9 out of 10 before/after measures of SWB either increased or remained stable following the FSW. These findings support previous research showing a link between how one uses Facebook can positively impact mental health and well-being. These findings also demonstrate that a comprehensive, evidence-based yet easy-to-follow strategy can be deployed by Facebook users with minimal technical skills that produces immediate and positive changes in their experience potentially increasing subjective well-being. Limitations to the study are discussed, along with suggestions for future social-media research and the role of psychology in Positive Computing.

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