According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans agree that social media has a negative effect on society, and it’s no surprise that something so pervasive can have such an effect on humans.
From the moment the alarm goes off to the nightly routine of plugging in a phone for bedtime, people are glued to their devices throughout the day. Of course, smartphones have several advantages, and there’s no doubt that they can help you work and keep in touch with friends and family.
But too many “good” thing can be quite the opposite. Pew Research did a study in 2018 that found 59% of teens have been bullied or harassed online. Adults could probably agree that they too have experienced bullying in one form or another online.
While it’s not possible for most to completely disconnect from the internet, reverting to more traditional entertainment platforms and search techniques could be beneficial and rewarding.
Instead of browsing social media for entertainment, reading a book or newspaper can provide a more personalized and enjoyable experience. The Library of Medicine conducted a study on the positive impacts of reading and found a shocking 20% reduction in mortality risk over a 12-year period for those who read books.
“Those who read books an average of 30 minutes a day – say, one chapter a day – showed a survival advantage, compared to those who read no books,” said the library.
Thirty minutes could also be used to read a newspaper, as that’s the average time it takes someone to read the newspaper, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
College students who participated in the study agreed that newspapers provided crucial information and nearly half of them chose to keep the article clippings. “The fact that the newspapers provide crucial information is also supported by them. The students’ overall experience of reading newspapers is found to be very good.
And There you go. Reading books and newspapers is beneficial, and there are good reasons to consider unplugging, even for as little as 30 minutes a day.
Your mind and body will thank you.