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Social media ‘relieves’ stress

Richard Bell

A new survey has suggested that using social media platforms can help to reduce stress levels in certain people.

The study, conducted by US-based Pew Research Center, asked over 1,800 adults who use social media targeted questions about  their interaction with the platforms.

A further survey, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), was also asked. Determining stress levels, PSS asks how frequently respondents have been in a stressful situation over the last month.

For men, the results of the study proved inconclusive. However, for women, there seemed to be a more definitive conclusion. The authors of the study stated that lower stress levels could come about through the use of certain technologies, before adding:

“[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.”

Citing earlier, separate research, the Pew team stated that the reason for lower stress levels in women could be much in line with a greater compulsion for social sharing. They added that life in general will see women share emotional experiences more than men.

Of course, the content that they are reading has a big effect on their stress levels. When that content is written by a friend, a family member or those that know a person well, it is going to have more impact.

At Pressroom, we can see that businesses realise this too, which is highlighted by the content that they are now placing in news feeds and through targeted campaigns.

However, the study also had a word of warning for companies.

It went on to show that while social media could be a great stress reliever for women, the greater exposure to their friends lives, when bad, could heighten their own stress levels.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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