Stress + fatigue + social media: It's a bit worse than you think

Have you felt a bit more depressed lately? Maybe you've been more exhausted, more weary, more fatigued, but there really isn't any specific reason you can pinpoint as to why you've started feeling this way? Your work life is good, your relationships with loved ones have been better than normal, and your finances aren't keeping you up at night, so what's the big deal?

New research says that the answer could actually be your social media.

Social media can run the gamut from being fabulously uplifting to being totally depressing and exhausting, and this applies to all ages. (Therapist and psychoanalyst Dr. Patricia Bratt)

According to a report from USA Today, recent findings have discovered that people who spend ample amounts of time on social media not only have raised anxiety and a flawed perception of the world (not everyone is having fun all the time without you, but that's hard to remember when there are seemingly 600 posts about the party you weren't invited to), but has also contributed to conditions like sleep apnea and fatigue.

In some cases (myself included), people have recently reported getting up multiple times during the evening, with the National Safety Council finding in July of this year that 97% of Americans have at least one type of risk factor that would lead to fatigue: and social media is a key contributing factor.

So what do the experts recommend? Turning off your phone, unplugging, and stepping away from your social media over an hour before you sleep.

Begin at least an hour before bedtime by turning off any electronics such as the television, computer, smart phone, iPad, etc. The light from the screens and the stimulation of watching them literally keep your brain in the "on" position. (Dr. Susan Blum, Functional Medicine practitioner.)

Does this seem easier said than done? Oh yeah. Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is stress is killing you. 44% of Americans claim they feel much more stress than they did 5 years ago, while nearly 3 out of 4 doctor's visits are now stress related ailments.

The bottom line? Social media, like every other thing in our lives, has to be used in moderation. But just like how tobacco and cigarettes were pushed upon the masses in the 50s and 60s without any long-term research being done to highlight the negative side effects, so to is social media being pushed in mass doses to a people of all ages who don't really understand what it can do to their brain, their anxieties, and their overall health.

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau