The APA says that almost the whole country is stressing out by checking their phone too much. Here’s how to relax and revive your soul.
Are you constantly checking your phone, email, social networks and/or tablet and Apple Watch?
You’re not alone. That’s the good news. The bad news is that all that distraction is likely stressing you out, big time.
A new survey done by the American Psychological Association, (APA) has uncovered some relatively disturbing facts.
Funnily enough, this survey was conducted online, (these guys aren’t helping us, are they?). It found that more than four out of five adults in the U.S (86%) admit to constantly or often checking their emails, texts and social media accounts, just in case they’ve missed out.
That’s almost the whole, entire country! We used to be making lemonade and trying to stay cool in the shade, while we waited for that book to come in at the library. Gone are the days.
The survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of APA, questioned 3,511 adults over the age of 18, living in the U.S.
Here are the cold, hard facts: those who check their devices constantly are about 10% more stressed out by political posts on social media.
Related: Is My Cell Phone Causing Cancer?
In addition, those who check things all the time are much more concerned about the negative effects of social media on their physical and mental health, than those who manage to keep some distance from their devices.
When it comes to family life, while technology can create jobs and bring us together, the sad thing is that almost half of parents (45 percent) say they feel disconnected from their families even when they sitting in the same room. Within the same four walls!
This is directly due to technology use and the fact that, often, everyone’s on their own phone or computer.
In addition to this, the majority of parents are worried about the way social media is influencing their child’s physical and mental health.
So, why are we using these devices so much, then? They are addictive and fun, plainly put.
It’s important to remember that life off-screen is important though, too. Maybe even more so.
How to Get Your Life Back
The majority of Americans (65 percent) agree with the idea of “unplugging” or taking a “digital detox” now and then for their mental health. The thing is, only about 30% of us are doing it.
This is the key. Actually do it.
“Taking a digital detox is one of the most helpful ways to manage stress related to technology use,” said Lynn Bufka, PhD, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy.
“Constant checkers could benefit from limiting their use of technology and presence on social media. Adults, and particularly parents, should strive to set a good example for children when it comes to a healthy relationship with technology.”
Stop checking your email constantly on your days off: that’s why they’re called days off. You’re away from work. The human brain is a muscle and it needs a break, and so does your family.
Go for a walk in a bit of nature. It doesn’t have to be the outback with alligators, but get yourself to a park every couple of days.
And for additional tips, follow this advice from Forbes.com on taking a digital detox. Your mental health, relationships and overall well being will benefit. There’s no time like the present.