Excessive Social Media Use Causes Higher Stress, Study Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Are you stressed out by social media? If so, you are not alone.

According to a new study, 86 percent of adults in the U.S. said they constantly check email, text and social media. And as CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, it could be doing damage to your mental health.

Times have changed as technology has evolved.

Two decades ago, cellphones were for the most part just used to make phone calls. But now, there are all kinds of ways we glue our eyes to the screen – and we do it more and more.

Susan Dunning of Florida said she checks her iPhone eight times a day. A man on the street said 30 times. Another woman said every two seconds.

And according to a new study by the American Psychological Association, excessive technology and social media have created the “constant checker.” On a 10-point scale where 10 is a great deal of stress, of those surveyed, the average level for constant checkers was 5.3 – compared with 4.4 for those who do not check as often.

For working Americans, checking work email constantly on their days off, their stress level was even higher – at a 6.0.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Full Study

“It is actually stressful, because I was not like that before,” said Philbert Kung of Manhattan. “It was just recently when like social media is like, you know, it’s part of our job. We need to be updated every day.”

And if you think it’s stressful checking one phone, try checking two like CBS2’s Gainer does.

There is also the effect of technology on your relationships.

When asked he thought if his social media use interfered with family or friend time,” Scott Corcoran of Manhattan said: “My wife might say yes. I don’t think so.”

Jean Vandecar of upstate Saratoga said she thinks smartphone use has ruined interpersonal communication.

“I find that the kids can’t communicate with one another. They don’t know how to communicate anymore,” she said. “I think a lot of their self-esteem is tied to the phone and what’s going on.”

But one woman sees frequent technology use another way.

“I feel more connected to my kids; to family,” she said.

The APA said constant checking is not good for mental health. Your prescription? A digital detox.

Of those Gainer spoke to, most said they were embarrassed to admit they kept checking their phone before bed even though they were tired. They just could not put the phone does.

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