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Americans’ Social Media Habits Change Following This Year’s Tensions

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Americans are tired from the many events of the year – predominantly the COVID-19 pandemic, economic fallout, and social unrest. A new study shows that some Americans “need a break from the flood of misinformation and the deluge of information posted to social media,” Fox Business reported.

A survey of 2,000 people commissioned by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shared the following findings:

  • Fifty-six percent of Americans say their social media habits have changed because of tensions surrounding current events this year.
  • Twenty-nine percent say their social media use has increased because of tensions surrounding current events this year.
  • Twenty percent of Americans say they’ve taken breaks from social media because of tensions surrounding current events this year.

Mental Stress Caused by the Pandemic

Ken Yeager, Ph.D. is the director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience Program at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. He said that “stepping away and reconnecting with reality offline is an important step to take for your mental health.”

“Being constantly immersed in this stressful environment and being overexposed to contentious or traumatic events can make you feel like the world is a less safe place to be. And because these stressors have persisted over a long period of time, it’s wearing on people’s ability to cope with that stress,” he added.

According to Yeager, there has been an increase in cases of depression, anxiety, and suicidality. An increase in cases of substance abuse is also happening over the past several months across the country.

“Even though you can’t control what happens on social media, it’s important to recognize how it may affect you and take steps to limit your exposure,” said Yeager.

Yeager offered tips such as disconnecting from your devices. He also suggested reconnecting with family and friends – even through a group Zoom call.

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