Are you feeling stressed? The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests trying a digital detox. According to the APA’s annual stress report, Americans who constantly check their email, texts, and social media accounts are more likely to have higher stress levels.
From 2005 to 2015, social media use has risen from 7 percent to 65 percent. With this rise in popularity and access, more and more adults are having trouble putting down the phone. In the APA’s survey results, the organization found that around 4 out of 5 adults say they are often or constantly connected to at least one device.
The APA measured stress based on a 10-point scale, where one was “little to no stress” and 10 was “a great deal of stress”. Those who were “constant checkers” had an average stress level of 5.3 compared to a 4.4 for those who do not check frequently. Those who checked their work email constantly had an even higher average stress level of 6.0.
The report also found that stress can stem from social media interactions such as political and cultural discussions online.
Lynn Burka, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy, said in a press release, “Today, almost all American adults own at least one electronic device, with many being constantly connected to them. What these individuals don’t consider is that while technology helps us in many ways, being constantly connected can have a negative impact on both their physical and mental health.”
Photo: nastya_gepp, CC-BY
Jane Snyder is a health intern with Paste and a freelance writer and photojournalist based out of Athens, Georgia.