In the 2017 report “Stress in America”, the American Psychological Association found that US adults who report that they constantly or often check their email, texts and social media accounts are significantly more stressed than those who don’t check them as frequently.
The survey found that on a 10-point scale, where one is “little or no stress” and ten is “a great deal of stress,” the average reported stress level for constant checkers was 5.3, compared with 4.4 for those who don’t check as frequently.
And for employed Americans who check their work email constantly on their days off, their reported overall stress level was even higher, at 6.0.
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% check texts and 44% check social media.
And an incredible 28% of respondents reported checking their work email on days off as frequently as personal emails or texts.
Interestingly, 86% of all respondents described themselves as constant checkers.
The percentage of US adults on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter
Despite all of the above, 65% of respondents somewhat or strongly agree that “unplugging” or taking a “digital detox” is important for their mental health. However, only 28% of those who say this actually report doing so.
The survey was conducted online between Aug. 5 and 31, 2016, among 3,511 adults 18+ living in the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes more than 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.