It may seem like social media sites have been around for decades, but the truth is, Facebook has only been around for 13 years.
Youtube was created a year later in 2005 and Twitter’s inception followed the next year.
The first iPhone? 2007.
iPad, Pinterest and Instagram have only been around for seven years, Snapchat is the baby of the bunch, launching in 2011.
Can you even remember a time when you didn’t have these apps? Probably not because they’ve become so ingrained in our everyday lives.
Smartphones And Social Media Go Hand In Hand
As much as the apps help people stay connected to family and friends, there is also a downside: researchers are finding that social media usage is having adverse effects on people.
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2017 Stress in America survey reported that only 7 percent of U.S. adults used social media in 2005. By 2015, that had grown to 65 percent (and 90 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds, up from 12 percent in 2005).
Every month, more than 2 billion users sign on to Facebook and Instagram, revealing their massive following. Also revealing, 86 percent of U.S. adults own a computer, 75 percent an internet-connected smartphone and 55 percent a tablet, according to the APA survey.
So what’s wrong with that?
Do You Connect More With Your Followers Than Friends?
If you’re a “constant checker,” social media could be affecting your life for the worse. A “constant checker” is exactly what it sounds like; it’s someone who checks their email, texts, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. incessantly throughout their day.
It turns out, the APA says that 43-percent of Americans fall into this category, but they may be sacrificing their health as a result of needing to constantly check their social media apps.
Non-constant checkers, people who use social media less frequently, tested out at a stess level of 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, while constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. (If you are one that checks your work email on your days off, your stress level is around a six, according to the APA’s report).
Is It Time To Put Our Phones Down?
“This attachment to devices and the constant use of technology is associated with higher stress levels for these Americans.
Generally, nearly one-fifth of Americans (18 percent) identify the use of technology as a very or somewhat significant source of stress. The most stressful aspect? Americans say technology causes the most stress when it doesn’t work (20 percent).”