They left social media for good. Are they happier?
Plenty of Americans claim social media is a scourge, but few cut the cord. Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults say social media has a mostly negative impact on life in this country, but 72 percent maintain at least one social media account, according to data from Pew Research Center. Headlines point at social apps to explain upward trends in anxiety, depression and loneliness among Americans, but people of all ages continue turning to social media to build communities. Amid our gripes and widespread distrust, social media serves as a new public square, where news develops, leaders debate and users form potentially lifesaving connections.
Katie Gammelgard, a 43-year-old high school teacher, said she quit social media because it would put her in a down mood. She’d reflexively judge what other people posted, then judge herself for judging. She’d scroll past political opinions and pictures of food, then feel guilty for feeling so uninterested. Weren’t these people supposed to be her friends?