Washington, January 18: A new study finds that people who spend more time online or using social media do not have higher levels of stress compared to those who do not. Internet, social media and cellphone users did not have higher stress levels than those who are less tech savvy, Time reported quoting the study. The research, done by global think tank Pew Research Center, was based on a survey of 1,801 American adults.
It found that women who spend more time on social media report being less stressed overall. But people who use social media are more aware of stressful events in other people’s lives. “Learning about and being reminded of undesirable events in other people’s lives makes people feel more stress themselves,” said Keith Hampton, Rutgers University scholar and study author.
Women who are hooked to Facebook were aware of 13 percent more stressful events in their close friends’ lives and aware of 14 percent more in the lives of acquaintances. Men were eight percent more aware of stressful events in their friends’ lives and six percent more aware of events in their acquaintances’ lives.
Women were more often informed of other people’s stress from photos shared online on sites, whereas men’s awareness came most often from text messages, e–mails and LinkedIn.
“There is a great deal of speculation that social media users feel extra pressure to participate and keep up on social media, to avoid the ‘fear of missing out’ in activities that others share,” noted Keith Hampton, associate professor of communications at Rutgers University. (IANS)