How Facebook Can Make Baby Boomers Happier

Let’s face it. Baby boomers have become addicted to Facebook. In fact, baby boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content compared to any other generation, reinforcing the notion that Facebook’s demographic is trending slightly older.

Is that a bad thing? Heck no. Facebook is a great way to spread a little happiness to those you love.

FacebookAccording to a new study, simply leaving a personalized comment on a friend or family’s Facebook post can make them feel like they’re walking on sunshine and brighten their day.

New research conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication suggests personal interactions on Facebook could make you just as happy as if you got married or had a baby. The study was based on 1,910 Facebook users from 91 countries during a three month period.

Really? I’ll admit a personal message or comment definitely perks me up, but are they saying it can make you as happy as having a baby?

Apparently. Turns out that some Facebook interaction reminding you of the people you care about in your life is good for you. The researchers found that 60 comments a month from close friends were linked to people reporting satisfaction akin to experiencing major life events.

The research debunks former studies that reported social media makes people depressed and lonely. Perhaps checking Facebook obsessively 300 times a day could be isolating and prevent you from having real relationships. As always, balance people! But the study shows that staying in touch with friends with a few positive comments is a positive thing for everyone involved.

Facebook LikeInterestingly, Facebook “likes” did not have the same power to alleviate negative feelings.

“We’re not talking about anything that’s particularly labor-intensive,” said co-author Moira Burke. “This can be a comment that’s just a sentence or two. The important thing is that someone such as a close friend takes the time to personalize it. The content may be uplifting, and the mere act of communication reminds recipients of the meaningful relationships in their lives.”

So there’s your assignment for the day. Take just a few moments to make an uplifting comment on one of your friends’ Facebook pages. Not a Facebook user? Pick up the phone or send a text to someone you love. You’ll feel happier for bringing some extra joy into someone’s life.

Images courtesy of arztsamui and Stuart Miles at



Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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2 Responses

  1. Cat Michaels says:

    Julie, awesome to know there’s a definite connection between postivity and social media. Getting a thoughtful comment, espcially on my author FB page, certainly brightens my day.

    • juliegorges says:

      I have certain friends that are so good about leaving comments – and it does definitely perk me up. (You’re one of them, Cat!) This study make me more conscious about doing it more often for my friends. Now, hopefully I can follow through with my good intentions!

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