48% of Millennials Worry About the Negative Effects of Social Media

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Technology has improved life for many Americans, and nearly half of this country’s adults say they can’t imagine life without their smartphones. At the same time, numerous studies have described consequences of technology use, including negative impacts on physical and mental health.

Survey findings suggest that more than eight in 10 Americans are attached to their gadgets on a typical day (86% say they constantly or often check their emails, texts, and social media accounts).

For constant checkers, stress runs higher than for those who do not engage with technology as frequently. On a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress,” the average reported overall stress level of constant checkers is 5.3.

Millennials report the highest stress level related to technology.

On a typical day (or day off from work for those who are employed), 65% of American adults say they often or constantly check personal email, 52% and 44% say the same about texts and social media, respectively, and 28% (of those employed) report the same about their work email.

For some, constant checking itself can be a stressful act. Constant checkers are more likely to say that constantly checking devices is a stressful aspect of technology, compared to non-constant checkers (29% vs. 24%, respectively). For employed Americans who check their work email constantly on non-work days, this jumps to 41%.