Nearly 90% of 18 to 29-year-olds use social media. Half fear their social media use.
A new survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) has found that nearly half of all millennials fear that they have an addiction to social media that is negatively impacting their mental and physical health. The survey found that nearly 90% of 18 to 29-year-olds are using social media, up from just 12% in 2005. “Technology has improved life for many Americans, and nearly half of this country’s adults say they can’t imagine life without their smartphones,” said the survey.
The survey continued by noting that 99% of adults owned at least one electronic device (televisions were included), with 86% owning a computer, 74% owning an internet connected smartphone and 55% owning a tablet. “At the same time, numerous studies have described consequences of technology use, including negative impacts on physical and mental health,” continued the study.
Of the social media platforms in use, Facebook remains the most popular at 74%, followed by Instagram at 32%, then Pinterest and LinkedIn, both with 29%, and Twitter with 24%. Many millennials, defined as those aged between 18 and 37, expressed concern over how much time they spent using social media. “Almost half (48 per cent) worry about the negative effects of social media on their physical and mental health,” the report said.
The APA also found a group of users who were almost always checking their social media accounts: “More than a decade after the emergence of smartphones, Facebook and Twitter, a profile is emerging of the ‘constant checker’. Such avid technology and social media use has paved the way for the ‘constant checker’, those who constantly check their emails, texts or social media accounts.” The report found that these ‘constant checkers’, on average had higher stress levels than their peers.
Some 65% of Americans agreed that it was important to periodically unplug, or ‘detox’ from their online lives, but the survey also found that only about 28% of users who thought so actually took a time out now and then.