A new study found that people who spend more time on social media or the internet do not have higher levels of stress than those who do not.
The research, which was conducted by Washington, D.C.-based think tank Pew Research Center, was based on a survey of 1,801 adults.
“People who use social media, especially heavy users, were not more stressed,” said Pew Internet research director Lee Rainie.
The study found no statistical difference in stress levels among men who use media, internet, or mobile phones and those who do not use these technologies.
However, it found that women who use Twitter, email and mobile phones have lower stress levels than those who do not use these technologies.
The authors of the study noted that a woman who sends or receives 25 emails each day, uses Twitter several times each day, and posts two digital photos via her mobile phone each day scores 21 per cent lower on stress measurements compared to those who do not use said technologies.
Nonetheless, people using social media are more aware of stressful events unfolding in the lives of other people.
“Learning about and being reminded of undesirable events in other people’s lives makes people feel more stress themselves,” noted Rutgers University scholar and author of the study, Keith Hampton.
Women who are on Facebook know 13 per cent more stressful events in the lives of their closest friends and 14 per cent more in their acquaintances’ lives.
Meanwhile, men who use Facebook are 8 per cent more aware of stressful events in the lives of their friends and 6 per cent more in the lives of their acquaintances.
Women’s awareness of other people’s stressful events came mostly from pictures shared online, while men’s awareness mostly came from emails, LinkedIn, and text messages.
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