Don't Fool Yourself: Technology Must be Used Strategically

February 8, 2015 3:08 PM

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A Pew Research Center report released earlier this month on social media use and stress has gotten a lot of play in subsequent media coverage, with recent headlines even happily declaring that "using Facebook and Twitter a lot can actually decrease stress." Wishful thinking. Pew surveyed the associations between people's self-reported social media use and how stressful they perceive their lives to be, but it did not attempt to determine how Internet and social media use affects stress levels.

The Pew report did find that "women who use Twitter, email and cellphone picture sharing report lower levels of stress." But we have no idea if there is a cause-and-effect relationship. Perhaps the low-stress women Pew surveyed have more leisure time, which both lowers how stressful they perceive th...

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