If I am being honest, I have to admit that my iPhone habits have been largely unchecked, undisciplined, and unhealthy. And in a recent survey of 8,000 of our readers, many of you honestly admit the same struggle. We asked you to finish this sentence: As I evaluate my life right now, my use of social media [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram] is ...
(A) ... under control, limited, and healthy.
(B) ... not controlled or restricted, but also not having a negative influence on my life.
(C) ... uncontrolled and unhealthy. I check my social networks compulsively throughout the day, and it’s probably not good for me.
About 40% of you answered (B) — you don't intentionally limit your social media use, and you don't notice harmful effects as a result.
Those of you who chose (C) — who admit your unlimited social media habits are unhealthy — were noticeably younger. Readers 18 to 39 are nearly twice as likely to call their habits injurious (38.5%) than those over forty (20.9%).
Simultaneously, among users who answered (A) — your social media habits are limited and healthy — the age-forty-plus respondents were twice as high (38.9%) as their younger counterparts (19.1%).
Social media self-doubt seems to break along a generational divide, and those of us under forty are perhaps most eager for a reminder to get offline and find a healthy balance with our phones.