Social Media Are Driving Americans Crazy


If you remove your phone from your pocket to check Twitter or to read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be considered as the “constant checker” according to the American Psychological Association.

Last week, the APA published a study noticing that Americans were experiencing the hike in the stress levels for the first time in 10-year’s history. In the month January, 57 percent of respondents of all political stripes suggested that the political climate of U.S. was the source of stress. On Thursday, the APA released the second section of its first findings named as, “Stress In America: Coping With Change,” which was determining the role of technology and social media play on American stress levels.

Social media use has shown rocketed increase from 7 percent of American adults in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015. For those between the of 18-29, the increase is huge, from 12 percent to a considerable 90 percent. As the hike in social media usage is barely surprising, the number of people who just can’t get out of it is stark: Today, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their e-mails, texts, or social media accounts frequently. And it has a significant impact on the stress level: On a 10-point scale, frequent checkers showed an average stress level of 5.3. For other Americans, the average stress level is a 4.4.

About 42 percent of constant checkers claims that the political and cultural discussions as leading to stress. And the impacts are shown in real life—35 percent of constant checkers reported that they are less likely to spend time with their family and friends due to social media.

About 65 percent of respondents said “unplugging” or fetching a “digital detox” is vital. But at last, admitting you have a problem is not same as overcoming the problem.

For those individuals who are willing to manage their social media usage, Anthony L. Rostain, professor of psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of The Adult ADHD Tool Kit: Using CBT to Serve Coping Inside and Out, provides some ideas:

Some of the guidelines for your social media time.

  • Ensure that the task who have been given is accomplished on time.
  • Get good and enough sleep.
  • At the end of the day, measure: “Did I do OK? Where did I slip up? Can I even do better tomorrow?” These are all vital questions that you can ask yourself, Rostain says.

And finally, one crucial aspect is: “don’t lie on the bed with the mobile screen on your face.”