You'd think that social media would stress us out. With our friends and media outlets constantly tweeting, posting to Facebook, Instagramming and Snapchatting, there's constant pressure to stay in the know.
Apparently though, in general, people who use social media do not have higher levels of stress. In fact, according to new research from Pew, women actually report lower levels of stress if they're active on social media.
The Pew researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,801 adults. They asked them very specific details about their social media use, such as which platforms they use, how often they check in, how often they comment or share, and how many connections they have. Pew also administered to them a survey called the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), which asks questions designed to measure how much control people have over their lives.
The researchers found no significant correlation between social media use and stress in men — but it was a different story for women. They found that certain technologies moderately lowered stress in women. Specifically, a woman "who uses Twitter several times per day, sends or receives 25 emails per day, and shares two digital pictures through her mobile phone per day, scores 21% lower on our stress measure than a woman who does not use these technologies at all."
But since a survey like this can't really explain causation, why does this difference exist between men and women? The researchers believe it has to do with the fact that men and women behave differently on social media. Women, they believe, are better than men at using social media in a psychologically healthy manner: