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posted by LaminatorX on Friday January 16 2015, @07:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-now-now dept.

One of the more prevalent memes in modern day life is that digital technology — like round-the-clock email and friends’ envy-inducing Instagram photos — is stressing us out and making us unhealthy. Now Claire Cain Miller reports at the NYT that a recent study has found the opposite: Frequent Internet and social media users do not have higher stress levels than those who use technology less often. “The fear of missing out and jealousy of high-living friends with better vacations and happier kids than everybody else turned out to be not true,” says Lee Rainie.

The survey of 1,801 adults asked participants about the extent to which they felt their lives were stressful, using an established scale of stress called the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). One unexpected result of the study is that women who frequently use Twitter, email and photo-sharing apps scored 21 percent lower on the stress scale than those who did not. That could be because sharing life events enhances well-being, social scientists say, and women tend to do it more than men both online and off. Technology seems to provide “a low-demand and easily accessible coping mechanism that is not experienced or taken advantage of by men,” the report said. "Just as the telephone made it easier to maintain in-person relationships but neither replaced nor ruined them," concludes Miller, "this recent research suggests that digital technology can become a tool to augment the relationships humans already have."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Friday January 16 2015, @07:39AM

    by davester666 (155) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:39AM (#135309)

    Stress isn't due to the technology we have. It's primarily due to work. The ever increasing workload, partially enabled by technology [but mostly enabled by forcing more working hours] is what is causing most stress.

    Because we simply must have higher profits. Not just turn a profit, but the profit must be higher each and every quarter. Otherwise there is no point to the work.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:04AM (#135312)

    For me, its having the technology monitor me, relentlessly documenting my every move and preparing dossiers on me for management.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @09:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @09:49AM (#135322)

    At my workplace, 40% of the critical equipment is non-functional, while much of the remaining equipment is in various states of failing.

    There's no need to replace it in a rush, according to the CEO, because we're dealing with it just fine.

    It's just a pity that our primary funding is being reviewed right now, and they're looking at the quality of our work with no understanding that our boss is a cheap prick.

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday January 16 2015, @01:16PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Friday January 16 2015, @01:16PM (#135354)

    And also highly relevant, since the discussion is about connectivity, are those bosses that now expect you to be focused on work every waking hour (and sometimes even non-waking hours), because it is possible to get your work email on your smartphone. For example, one boss very publicly berated me for failing to answer emails promptly at 10:30 PM on a Saturday and texts at 2:30 AM on a Wednesday, and at just about every other time imaginable (and this was at a job that swore up-and-down when they hired me that they had no expectations of on-call duties). Needless to say, I switched jobs shortly after that.

    But yes, that's a lot more stressful than some random picture of a somebody's cat.

    --
    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
  • (Score: 2) by gallondr00nk on Friday January 16 2015, @03:06PM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Friday January 16 2015, @03:06PM (#135376)

    Right. It's a matter of context. The steam engine didn't intrinsically make our lives more stressful, but I bet there were a fair few factory workers who would have disagreed.

    Actually, that's the greatest myth about Luddites. We use the term meaning people who are wholly opposed to development and technology, when at the time actual Luddites weren't interested in destroying all technology (such as the hand looms they made their living from), they wanted to wreck the machinery that made their lives a misery - such as the factory looms that were destroying their living.

    I don't see how a study can make the blanket claim that technology doesn't increase stress. It's a matter of circumstance.