Between text, email, more and more social media options, and other applications, most of us now have smartphones, and most of us are more connected to them than we should. Although in the past it was considered impolite to check the phone while eating out or dealing with people in real life, it has become more and more common to keep checking the phone.
According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), frequent checking of smartphones is related to stress.
The APA’s annual US stress survey was released in 2017 in two parts. The first part focuses on coping with changes, and the second part focuses on technology and social media pressures. There are several findings that are interesting and relevant to most of us. Obviously, the use of technology and social media is affecting our stress levels, well-being, and well-being. One of the most notable findings is that many of us frequently check our phones, which is related to higher stress levels. Below are more details about this and other important aspects of the investigation.
Most of us now have smartphones
According to the survey, 74% of Americans have connected smartphones. In addition, 55% of people own a tablet, and about nine out of ten people own a computer. We are connected.
Soaring use of social media
Although only 7% of adults in the United States used social media in 2005 (remember MySpace?), in 2015, 65% of people used social media. Young people (18-29 years old) are more connected, with 90% of them contacting the media in 2015 through social media (12% in 2005). As social media connects us more and more, these numbers are on the rise.
In 2016, 79% of adults online connected to Facebook, making it by far the most popular social media platform among American adults. Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are used by 32%, 31%, and 29% of users, respectively. Twitter is not very popular, but almost a quarter (24%) still use it. Again, we are connected!
“Constant checking” becomes common
Although this is a relatively new phenomenon, the increased use of social media and Internet-connected devices has led many people to habitually check text messages, emails, and social media posts on their phones. What used to be a way to pass time while waiting in line, or a way to deal with emergencies at work, has now become a habitual behavior that many of us make without thinking.
According to the survey, 43% of Americans say they often check their phones
Correlation with stress
Almost one in five (18%) people report that technology use is a very or quite important source of stress. Another interesting fact is that people who frequently check their phones are more likely to find that technology brings a certain degree or significant pressure—23% compared to 14% of those who don’t check their phones. There are several reasons:
- Political and cultural discussions: More than two-fifths of frequent phone checkers (42%) said that political discussions and cultural differences on social media put pressure on them, compared to 33% who are not considered frequent examiner. This is understandable, because conflict is a stressful experience for most people, and more frequent participation in conflict-filled environments may lead to greater stress.
- Health effects: Poorly managed stress is related to some negative health outcomes. Previous surveys have found that many Americans are worried about the impact of stress on their health. This survey is no exception: 42% of people worry about the negative impact of social media on their physical and mental health (compared to 27% of non-checkers). This may be a reasonable concern, as social media comparisons have been found to be associated with a decrease in happiness and well-being and an increase in stress levels. Uncontrolled stress can damage health in many ways.
- Feeling out of touch: Ironically, the people who check social media most often are those who feel the least connected. 44% of people who checkers frequently report that even if they are with family and friends, they feel disconnected from their family and friends. (In contrast, only 27% of non-checkers enthusiasts feel this way.) They attribute this feeling to technology. However, it is interesting that 35% of telephone inspectors report that due to the availability of social media, they are unlikely to get together with friends or family in person instead of unplugging. (In contrast, only 15% of non-checkers report the same.) Loneliness also has an impact on health and happiness, because loneliness has its own dangers and can even be considered “contagious.” This connection caused a real disconnection.
To pull or not to pull?
Most of us (65%) agree (“somewhat” or “strongly”) that taking digital breaks or “unplugging” from time to time is important for mental health. Again, it is somewhat ironic that only 28% of people believe that the importance of this reduction report actually did so. The reasons behind this are somewhat complicated.
In addition to simple habits, millennials in particular feel the benefits of social media. In this group, 36% said that social media has helped them develop their identity to some extent, although about half (48%) are also worried about negatively affecting their physical and mental health, while “mature,” 22% Of baby boomers and 37% of Gen X.
We are currently trying to at least place restrictions on our constant phone checks. In the survey, 28% (and 32% of parents) reported prohibiting the use of mobile phones during dinner, which is a good way to practice eating more carefully and connecting with people around them. People also reported turning off social media notifications (19%), although there are other ways to reduce them.
How to stop constantly checking your phone
People are on the right track. Limiting the use of your phone during dinner is an easy way to take a break from the availability of social media and focus on the people you are with in real life.
Turning off notifications is a good idea to avoid constantly reminding someone somewhere that something might need our attention and remove it from the people in front of us.
This can also be a way to practice restricting use at other times, as you are getting more and more accustomed to turning off your phone or being in another room. Here are some possible additional strategies:
- Offline at specific times of the day: If you create a window when it is not available (for example, dinner time, after a certain time in the evening, or even every hour), you will start to teach yourself how to limit your availability. You also teach others not to expect you to always be free. This small boundary may make it easier to disconnect at other times and in other ways.
- Adapt to “sleep mode”: Putting your phone in “sleep mode” and checking it only once an hour is a good way to keep notifications functioning normally but silently, so you can choose when to let them disturb your day. This gives you better control.
- Ask people to call you: Get help by announcing that you want to reduce checking your phone when you are with people. You can even make an agreement with others that when you are together, none of you are playing mobile phones, just like in the “past” (such as 2005). This can help you keep in touch with the people around you and make it a game rather than something you try to do on your own.
- Delete your apps: If you delete social media apps on your phone, you will be forced to use them only when you are using your computer or tablet. This makes it more challenging to maintain the habit of checking your phone unconsciously, but it doesn’t completely cut off your attention. The idea is to make yourself think more about it and reduce the availability of social media-but not completely inaccessible.
- Try meditation: Because checking your phone can be an insidious habit, it’s easy to do it without thinking. Developing a new habit like meditation can help you become more aware of the present here and now.This can also help you get into practice exist Here, now, instead of wondering who else is saying something online. Practice your concentration, and it will be easier to keep your phone in your pocket.