Surprising Social Media & Screen Time Statistics [The Stack 009]

How-do-you-do Stackers!

This week’s edition of The Stack is all about the surprising things we’re seeing from skyrocketing social media and screen time use. 

To give a bit of context on how much we’re getting social online: about 3.5 billion of us are active social media users. 

Take a few minutes to embrace your computer consumption and learn how the digital age determines your health. 

Facebook posts predict diabetes and mental health

Science Daily features a PLOS ONE  study that shows how Facebook posts may help identify conditions such as diabetes, anxiety, and depression in patients. 

  • Researchers studied 1,000 patients whom agreed to have their medical record data linked to their Facebook profile. They analyzed three groups: Facebook post language, demographics (age, sex), and the last combining to the two. 
  • They found that ALL 21 different medical conditions were predictable from Facebook alone. 
  • In fact, 10 of the conditions were better predicted through the use of Facebook data instead of demographic information.
  • This may be in part due to the fact that social media posts are often about someone’s lifestyle choices, experiences, and how they’re feeling. 

Information is like snacks, money, and drugs to your brain

A new paper from PNAS, featured in UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, discovered how information acts on the brain’s dopamine-producing reward system in the same way as money or food. 

  • Researchers scanned the brains of participants playing a gambling game - comparing some lotteries when the information was valuable, to others in which there wasn’t much at stake. 
  • People acquired information not only based on its benefit, but also the anticipation of its benefit. 
  • Researchers found in the fMRI scans that the information about the games’ odds activated the regions of the brain specifically known to be involved in valuation, which are the the dopamine-producing reward areas activated by food, money, and many drugs. 

Too much screen time is making kids nearsighted

Natural News displays that a record number of young people are being diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia) partially due to excessive screen time.  

  • Nearsightedness affects 40 percent of North Americans with the cases doubling between 1972 and 2004. 
  • Since smartphones were introduced in 2007, vision problems have been climbing - partially due to the fact that users must read their screens at a very close distance and the short blue light wavelengths are particularly damaging to eyesight. 
  • A study of 800 phone users showed that simply having a smartphone in their proximity can reduce a person’s cognitive capacity -- even if the phone is switched off! 

Natural Stacks habitué

Sarmi grew up with parents suffering from many health problems. She used this experience to transform her own health journey and learn from their experience. 

“I was determined not to go through the same hardship as my parents and decided to take my health seriously.”

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“I am always willing to help anyone who wants to change their fitness health around for a better life. Just like my clients, I am on the journey to achieve greatness and live the healthiest lifestyle I possibly can.” 

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Life doesn’t have to feel so crazy and overwhelming all the time. 

What else we're Stacking…

Amazon Alexa for 911? Smart Speaker May Detect Cardiac Arrest [Healthline]

How strength training may help people with diabetes [Medical News Today]

Rotavirus Vaccine May Help Protect Against Type 1 Diabetes [NY Times]

Frozen Avocados Recalled After Listeria Detected [Healthline]

Hope you learned a few ways social media and screen time may sway your style.

Wishing you health and happiness,

-Natural Stacks


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