Internet & Happiness

We need a healthy mixture!

Burger showed in his studies that social networking generally has no effect on people´s happiness. There are, however, negative effects on people who spend excessive time on online-platforms while losing sight of the real life. That makes them unhappier. Social networks should not be considered as a replacement of real relationships with “real conversations”. Being together with family, friends, or other social bonds is a significant “happiness source”. However, research cannot present evidence against the use of social networks “in moderation”. For many people, online-platforms represent an interesting and exciting addition to their social fabric. Nowadays, it is no problem to have regional or international contacts. That enables an exchange of a social and cultural diversity which would not be possible without the internet. Consequently, social networks offer an addition but not a replacement in the people´s real life. It is important to hold a balance between social networks in the real life and the online-platforms and to ask yourself occasionally: does this really make me happy?


  1. Antoci, Angelo, Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro (2015). Online and Offline Social Participation and Social Poverty Traps: Can Social Networks Save Human Relations? The Journal of Mathematical Sociology.0, 1-18.
  2. Antoci, Angelo, Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro (2013). Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era. Springer Science and Business Media. 48. 1911-1927.
  3. Burger, Martijn& Buskens, Vincent(2009). Social context and network formation: An experimental study. Social Networks. 31(1), 63-75.
  4. Rosen, Larry(2015). Managing Yourself. Conquering Digital Distraction. Harvard Business Review. 100-113.
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  • Prof. Dr. Andrew Oswald Professor of Economics, University of Warwick
  • Prof. Dr. Ronnie Schöb Professor for International Public Economics, Free University Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Ruut Veenhoven Emeritus Professor Social Conditions of Human Happiness, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof. Dr. Carmelo Vazquez President of the International Positive Psychology association
  • Prof. Dr. Marc Hassenzahl Folkwang University Essen
  • Dr. Martijn Burger Academic Director Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation
  • Dr. Adam Okulicz Kozaryn Researcher Rutgers University
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