Do you use social media?
Of course you do.
Almost everyone does.
But have you ever thought about how it’s impacting on your life?
Do you think it makes your life better? Or worse?
The latest research adds to a growing mountain of information telling us that social media is bad for us. A 2015 study by Stoney Brooks found that social media is associated with reduced task efficiency and reduced wellbeing (see the full study here).
Yet, it is.
This is how the study worked: the people in the study were college students in the US.
They were asked to watch a video on a computer during class (Awesome! Video in class!). While they watched the video on the computer they had access to several different social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. So, if they wanted the students could use social media, but they weren’t told anything about this in the study instructions.
After the video – SURPRISE! Pop quiz!
The students were asked a few questions about what they had seen in the video.
The students who used more social media while they were watching the video performed worse on the quiz (compared to students who used less social media). Their task efficiency was reduced by social media usage because it’s a distractor.
Maybe this isn’t too shocking, but think about the fact that people are using social media all day in class and all day at work.
How do people even learn anything anymore or get anything done?
On top of that, the study also found that the students who used more social media were experiencing more technostress – a type of stress caused by a feeling of being unable to cope with technology which has various negative physical and emotional consequences . (Argh help – technology is everywhere, it’s stressing me out!)
And on top of that top, people who used more social media also reported being less happy.
This is why social media seriously sucks.
Stoney Brooks suggests that we should consider implementing some rules like ‘no social media in class!’ And he is right, because social media makes students (and probably workers too) less happy, more stressed, and worse at the task they are doing!
So, next time you are about to use social media you should stop and think twice.