James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
Would you like to be more social? Then give up social media. There's nothing social about it. Yet another study has proved that Facebook is making you miserable.
A new report by the University of Copenhagen has revealed that regular use of social media such as Facebook is leaching out your yo-ho-ho.
Spending hours staring at other people going about their daily business pouting into a phone on a selfie stick, like a stubborn donkey's carrot, can harm your emotional well-being and overall satisfaction with life.
Watching other people's lives can ruin your own.
And that was from Denmark, where happiness is compulsory.
Danish people wake up laughing. The Danish language is actually just a string of chortles.
Fortunately, the study didn't just highlight the problem, it also presented a solution. Unfortunately, you won't like it.
It is the solution I took up months ago. It is simple to think of but quite hard to do, like getting off heroin, or denying yourself a daily frothy coffee.
You can think of giving it up but it is quite hard to resist when every fibre of your being is screaming for some more. That's what social media is like - it is addictive like a drug, so the solution is to go cold turkey.
Just give it up. Put down the mouse and walk away from the computer. There's nothing interesting on the internet anyway, it's just crazy Donald Trump and videos of pussy-cats
The researchers got people to give up Facebook,Twitter, Snapcheese, Uninterest and all the rest and they found that rather than screwing them up and making them anxious, it made them feel better and warmer and more fulfilled.
They found that they did not get worried in case they were missing out on what someone they did not know had for breakfast.
Nor were they concerned that they missed the news that someone got divorced that they went to school with that they didn't like as a child. They might have wondered: why on earth are all these people they barely know clogging up their life on Facebook?
The ones that gave up social media did not have a bad time, they had a great time. They were happier and so full of the light air of well-being that they needed to be tethered to the ground to stop them from floating away.
Of course, this is the nuclear option. You don't have to give it up entirely, you could just dabble in withdrawing a bit. Maybe don't look at some sites and feeds that make you upset, that bring on resentment or feelings of envy, the non jolly green giant.
This isn't the first time we have heard research that says what we know instinctively to be true: that social media is not helping our mood.
Also, it is a gigantic waste of time. I gave up reading Twitter and Facebook with any regularity a while ago, and while I seem to have found lots of other ways to waste time, at least I am not spending hours staring at what someone I don't know is saying about something I don't care about.
If it is important, it will be on the news. If it isn't, you've just saved yourself the time of reading it.
Just think, before the internet, how did people used to relate information about meals they'd eaten, or jumpers they bought or videos they'd watched? They didn't.
Imagine if all that Facebook and Twitter stuff had to be delivered in actual letters by the postman. You'd move house just to make it stop.