Social media a calmer person makes, says study

Amy Wallace

News Reporter

A tech savvy woman is a calmer one.

This is according to a study by Pew Research Center, that found that avid social media users do not have higher levels of stress.

Women who tweet, send emails and share photos several times a day have 21 per cent less stress than women who do not use these technologies.

“Social media is relatively new, so media attention has shifted to question and fear the impact of these new platforms,” said Jenna Jacobson, a PhD candidate in the faculty of information at the University of Toronto.

Jacobson said that people often assume that constant messages on social media make us more stressed.

“We are using social media in order to stay connected, to build community with one another,” she said.

Rindola Guha, 23, first-year Global Business management student at Humber College, said she uses social media almost every day. As an international student, she said that it’s important for her to keep in touch with family.

“I especially like WhatsApp, because you can send and receive voice messages,” said Guha. “The best part is that it’s all free.”

The survey of 1,801 American adults showed women reported seven per cent higher levels of stress than men.

The study reports women are more aware of stressful events in the lives of their close friends and family.

“If you learn of a tragedy on Facebook, this awareness can actually make you feel more stressed,” said Jacobson.

Researchers do not point to why the gender difference exists. This “cost of caring” may be felt more by women, although men also traditionally underreport stress.

“It is important to realize that use of digital technology is different for all people, and so is the impact,” said Jacobson. “This finding may be to the fact that women are using the technologies for social support in ways that men are not taking full advantage of.”

Jemella Clarke, 19, an early childhood education student, isn’t stressed out by what she sees on social media.

“People are very opinionated with what they put on social media which can cause people to stress,” said Clarke. “It doesn’t particularly stress me out because I don’t take all of that to heart.”