Last week, researchers published a study that showed Americans’ stress levels did not drop – as expected – after the presidential elections and, if something, the matter is getting even worse. This week, scientists released the second part of the same study that highlights social media is playing a crucial role in driving people insane, forcing them to check their inbox and notification tabs all day long, distracting them from their duties, and keeping them awake well into the night.
As stated above, the American Psychological Association released a study last week which stated Americans experienced the first statistically major increase in stress levels since researchers began polling the U.S. population a decade ago. Hence, in January, there was recorded a five percent increase in individuals who reported elevated levels of stress because of the latest developments in the country’s political stage.
This week, on Thursday, February 23rd, American Psychological Association researchers released the second part of the study, “Stress In America: Coping With Change”, in which scientists looked at the impact of social media on the lives of U.S. citizens.
The researchers discovered the use of social media platforms skyrocketed from 7 percent adults in 2005 to 65 percent a decade later. Moreover, for the young adults, aged 18 to 29, the use of Facebook, Twitter, and whatnot, increased from 12 percent to a staggering 90 percent during the same timespan.
While the increase in social media’s popularity is nothing to be impressed with, the number of people who are glued to their phones on a daily basis in worrying, declared the researchers. Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans admitted they constantly checked their emails and social media accounts, even though they did not receive any notifications.
This translates to a 5.5 level of stress for constant checkers on a 10-point scale, while the rest of the Americans only experience a 4.4 level of stress on the same scale. In their paper, the researchers highlighted people who constantly check their work emails on days off are subjected to the most elevated levels of stress, namely a 6.0 grade. Ultimately, the researchers said other effects of being obsessed with social media included growing apart from family members and developing sleep pattern disorders.
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