That little buzzing, dinging or ringing piece of technology most of us carry with us at all times may be a great source of stress for many Americans. A survey released by the American Psychological Association (APA) reveals that we are now experiencing a surge in stress which can be linked to social media and technology use.
Bloomberg News reports about the stress level findings from the APA study and how people who are constantly looking at updates on their phones are at greater risk of feeling this mental burnout. The survey looked at respondents who considered themselves “constant checkers” - looking at your phone while stuck at a red light. Twitter updates, emails, Facebook feeds, news reports are all the types of distractions many Americans are turning to hundreds of times a day.
But the so-called distractions can actually do a number on our stress levels. The study finds that constant checkers reported a stress level of about 5.3 while those who aren’t constantly looking into a screen report a much lower level at around 4.4 on average. The worst stress levels of about 6.0 were reported by those workaholics who look at their work emails even on their days off.
If you are looking to reduce stress, getting out of the habit of constantly looking at your phone may be the first step (though this is easier said than done). The study finds that 65% of respondents recognize the importance of unplugging to destress every once in awhile, but only 28% actually follow through with this practice. If you find it hard to unplug, but are really looking to reduce stress from technology there are steps to take. Erasing social media on your phone, turning off news updates, or even relegating screen-free zones in your home are all good ways to change your habits.
What do you think of the recent survey that suggests stress levels are up due to technology use?
Do you try and limit your screen time? What type of steps have you taken to reduce tech stress?