Do Social Networks Create Stress?

Social Media has been on the rise for about ten years now. I recently heard our Director of Social Media refer to “traditional” Social Media when referring to that ancient site we call Facebook. Can it be true? Is Facebook and Twitter, the older social media platforms really outdated?

It seems as if a new platform, or a variation of a platform comes out every other day.  Are we causing social media over saturation? With so may platforms, are users becoming stressed to maintain their social network? Do social networks create stress? 

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“All of this influence appears to correlate closely with stress. People who say social media influences the products they buy “a lot” are 45 percent more likely to say their lives are “very stressful.” Maybe we can’t afford all the fancy new products our friends are buying. Maybe we’re too busy to follow the trends in music or fashion. Whatever the reason, it’s evident that the more we pay attention to our friends’ activities, tastes, and possessions, the more stress we report in our lives.”

Social media is a very powerful “influencer” and the research is suggesting that all of this influence is causing stress. Before, people were influenced directly by friends or family, now that is still happening, but at an exponential level as social media connections and networks continue to grow. Through social media, it is easy to get access to more and more people that someone or something could potentially influence.

“When surveyed, 40 percent of social media users admitted they often post/share things to improve their image. Honestly, how often do you see someone check-in at Dollar General, boast about their job demotion, or post pictures of the frozen chicken nuggets they microwaved for their kids? Seldom, right? Instead, we tend to highlight the positive aspects of our lives and personalities, if only to compete with everyone else who is doing the same thing.

This need to measure and curate our social media persona has a strong association with stress. People who say they post things on Facebook or Twitter to improve their image are over 4.5 times more likely than other people to “always” feel stressed.”

There are obviously many factors that affect ones stress level and in my opinion social media is definitely one of them. Not only can it provide a distraction or over stimulation, but it forces people into thinking that if they are not on social media, they are having a major case of FOMO.

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One Response to Do Social Networks Create Stress?

  1. sydhavely says:

    You make a very strong case for social media and stress, one I think we can all relate to but sometimes are hard pressed to manage well. Well done, Liz.

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