23 October 2016
Heavy users of social media are more likely to develop sleep problems. Photo: internet
Heavy users of social media are more likely to develop sleep problems. Photo: internet

Why an addiction to social media is bad for your health

Too much social media may be bad for your health, the Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly reported.

First, it can prevent you from sleeping well.

In a survey by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, the 25 percent most active social media users were three times more likely to have sleep problems than the 25 percent least active.

The 2014 survey, published in Preventive Medicine, covered 1,788 people between the ages of 19 and 32.

Secondly, excessive use of social media can result in psychological problems.

In a separate project, researchers found a high correlation between the time spent on social media and the chances of having an anxiety disorder.

Many young people use social media to seek reassurance from their peers. They want their postings to be liked.

However, some become too emotionally involved and care too much about the response they get from their cyberaudience, which can bring stress and depression, HKEJ Monthly said.

The University of Pittsburgh researchers suggested that people strike a balance.

To avoid overusing social media and compromising your sleep time, stop browsing social media an hour before it’s time for bed, they said.

If you need to charge your phone before going to sleep, don’t do it in your bedroom, otherwise incoming messages will continue to be a source of distraction.

Also, to prevent cyberbullying and other abuse over social media, be sure to use strict privacy settings, the HKEJ Monthly advised.

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EJ Insight writer

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