Another Study Confirms That Using Social Media Makes Us Worry About Social Media

As another study tells us about the negative side effects of social media, is it time to put down the phone?

Another Study Confirms That Using Social Media Makes Us Worry About Social Media

by Chloe Gray |
Published on

It is very apparent that everyone is online these days. You can find your mum on Instagram, your auntie on Snapchat and even your Gran on Facebook. Although 99% of us own and use technology, we have been warned numerous times that we are all so addicted to our phones that even Donald Trump’s Tweets aren’t enough to get us to switch off. And us Millennials are famously the most obsessed, with 90% of us using social media.

But new research by the American Psychological Association has shown that half of Millennial social media users (aged 18-37) are actually worried about the effects of it on their mental and physical health. So why do we continue to scroll when we think it’s doing us no good?

The APA suggest that those most at risk of online enduced stress is young women, saying: ‘research also shows teen girls were more likely to use social media to communicate, which could expose them to the negative effects of this medium’. The extent of cyber-bullying is no secret these days, and clearly it's taking its toll on us; just yesterday Lily Allen stepped off Twitter due to trolls abusing her about her stillborn son.

The study also points to the 8 out of 10 of Americans who admit to checking their phone constantly. ‘Such avid technology and social media use has paved the way for the “constant checker” — those who constantly check their emails, texts or social media accounts’ the report says. But these constant checkers are the most stressed out of all, giving a 5.3 out of 10 rating for stress when compared to those who use social media, just less obsessively, who give a 4.4 rating. And get this: the study tells us that the act of checking is what makes us stressed in the first place, saying: ‘For some, constant checking itself can be a stressful act. Constant checkers are more likely to say that constantly checking devices is a stressful aspect of technology’.

So, it turns out the more addicted you are to technology, the more down about it you get. Time to take a step back? Apparently 65% think that’s a good idea, but only 28% of people actually do the digital detoxing. Despite knowing our phones are driving us crazy, we just can’t seem to put them down. Has scrolling Facebook become that same as eating a kebab at four am, unable to resist even though we know it’s no good for us?

The report isn’t quite all doom and gloom for the youngsters though: over a third said that social media has helped them find their identity and 93% of Millennials say that they are comfortable with technology, compared to 79% of people who are 71 and above. But knowing how to use the technology just clearly isn't making us happy.

So should we all take a leaf out of Lily Allen’s book and ditch the twitter-sphere? Seems unlikely that any of us (Lily included) would actually stay away for good. But those who can go without checking if their friend has uploaded a picture of their Pret-A-Manger hummus pot every five minutes do seem to be better off. So maybe it is worth putting the phone down... just for an hour.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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