Modern life affects our physical and mental health

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MODERN day living is a multifaceted compendium of evolving technology and social media. Communication outlets are changing every part of our lives so rapidly that it can be tough to adjust. Are technology and media affecting our physical and mental health?
Technology has improved the lives of many people, with almost half of adults in the United States unable to imagine life without their smartphone.
The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey 2017 shows that 99 percent of adults own an electronic device, around 86 percent own a computer, 74 percent own a smartphone, and 55 percent own a tablet.
The survey also reports that between 2005 and 2015, the percentage of adults using social media skyrocketed from 7 percent to 65 percent, with usage rates of young adults aged between 18 and 29 increasing from 12 percent to 90 percent in that period.
Rates of technology and social media use are therefore swiftly climbing. Facebook and Instagram alone boast a combined monthly user base of 2 billion people.
Recent research by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that teenagers aged 13 to 17 years old have shifted their preferred social media platforms and are now most likely to use Snapchat and Instagram.
Key findings of the survey included the fact that around 76 percent of teenagers use Instagram, 75 percent use Snapchat, 66 percent use Facebook, 47 percent use Twitter, and fewer than 30 percent use Tumblr, Twitch, or LinkedIn.
They also found that although 91 percent of teens use regular text messaging, 40 percent also use messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik, or Line.
Social media and text messaging have become an integral part of how individuals interact with their social groups. In fact, for many teenagers and young adults, text messaging and social media communication is now more likely than in-person interactions.
The technological and social media advances of the past decade have bred the “constant checker.” A constant checker is a person who constantly, almost obsessively, checks their emails, texts, and social media accounts. This profile is synonymous with 43 percent of U.S. individuals.
Being continuously connected in this way has been linked with higher stress levels. Moreover, 18 percent of individuals have identified technology use as a significant source of stress.

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