If you pull out your phone to check Twitter while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association calls a “constant checker.” And chances are, it’s hurting your mental health.
Social media use has skyrocketed from 7 percent of American adults in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015. For those in the 18-29 age range, the increase is larger, from 12 percent to a remarkable 90 percent. But while an increase in social media usage is hardly surprising, the number of people who just can’t tear themselves away is stark: Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their e-mails, texts, or social media accounts constantly. And their stress levels are paying for it: On a 10-point scale, constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. For the rest of Americans, the average level is a 4.4.
The highest stress levels, it should be noted, are reserved for those who constantly check their work e-mail on days off. Their average stress level is 6.0. So those of you who think it’s somehow pleasant to work from home on a Saturday afternoon, you’re actually fooling yourself.
- Set guidelines for your social media time.
- Make sure you complete the tasks you need to get done.
- Get the sleep you need.
- At the end of the day, evaluate: “Did I do OK? Where did I slip up? Can I do better tomorrow?” These are all important questions to ask yourself, Rostain says.
- And he adds one final, crucial point: “Don’t [lie] in bed at all hours with the screen in your face.”
Check out the full story over at Bloomberg to see if you’re checking your feeds a bit too much throughout the day.