Lazy or Brilliant ?

By Harold Stearley At Earthwalking

My last post was a bit short.  And it really only listed out some research findings.  Although it was interesting research about the power of positive relationships.  And it did include some fun terms like “micro-aggressions,” “micro-experiences,” and “positive alacrity.”

I had to look up that last word “alacrity,” and it means “promptness in response, cheerful readiness.”

One could say that I didn’t put a lot creative effort into that post, or mockingly, and fairly, say that “I phoned it in.”

But sometimes shorter and simpler is better.  The acronym I used for this was “KISS.”  I used it as “keep it short and simple.”  In law school, it stood for “keep it simple stupid.” That’s kind of interesting because one might think that highly educated folks, like lawyers, might not mind long and detailed analyses.  It goes with the territory.

But people are pressed for time.  And maybe that time is not well spent on “legal briefs” or social media?

Well, today is another study day, I’m afraid.  This one posed the question as to whether social media was a risk factor in mental illness for adolescents.

Without getting too detailed, it was a one-year study of 6595 adolescents and it basically found a linear increase with internalizing the comorbid symptoms of inward distress like anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and loneliness with increasing time spent on social media.  More than 30 minutes a day with the varied platforms increased this risk significantly.  However, there was no evidence of externalizing problems manifest in behaviors such as inattention, physical aggression, rule breaking, and impulsivity.

I’ve read a similar study before that basically said the more time spent on social media, the less happy people were.

It seems counterintuitive that people would get locked into behavior that makes them unhappy, but I suppose one could argue that all addictions are similar.  There is some type of external reward for this behavior.  And many of the teens involved in the study, some 20 percent, were spending between three and six hours a day, or more, on social media.

How many hours on social media makes it an addiction?  Or dangerous?  I don’t have the slightest idea.

I imagine I’ve spent a few days like this, greater than three hours on social media, and when I was in the practice of law, I spent about ten hours a day on the computer doing research and writing.  I’m not sure if that was healthy either.  The sitting alone could kill a person.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like hiking so much now.  😊

Keeping it short, we all use social media for various types of connections.  And yesterday’s research made it clear that fulfilling relationships extend our life.  And the blend of studies out there might make one ask if our relationships on social media can be meaningful and life promoting, or just put us risk for mental illness?


Was I lazy yesterday, or brilliant for tying in the themes with more research today?  Perhaps neither.

And you don’t have to answer that one.  I usually get a good laugh at myself daily. 😊

In Metta


Photo: Some might say this pic of a Tiger Swallowtail is brilliant.  But in reality, I caught it with laziness.  I had tried to get a clear shot of it multiple times, but every image was blurred by its continual flight from clover to clover.  I finally gave up, turned my head away, and fired off one last attempt at a shot figuring there was no way possible for me to capture it.  And that turned out to be the one.  🙂

You can find the complete study results on Medscape – “Is Social Media a Risk Factor for Mental Health?


16 thoughts on “Lazy or Brilliant ?”

  1. I suspect the level of health risk is like other forms of relationship: It depends on the other person and how seriously you take them. Children aren’t the only ones that need to learn how to judge what’s important.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Quite true. And even though the researchers try their best to control variables, how volatile is an adolescent’s life, how impressionable, and how many factors come to bear on emotions? Can activity on social media being isolated to produce this result?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “…spent on social media, the less happy people were.” Of course. With the media’s fascination with celebrities, the Kardashian’s, other people’s success, beauty and money, it simply make one aware of the 1% live and what you’re lacking. It does not generate an increase in appreciation for what you DO have.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As with everything, it often boils down to balance. Not many of us are able to achieve balance as adults, and teenagers barely understand the concept. I think it is pretty safe to say that we need to monitor our teens (and ourselves) to make sure we don’t tip the scales too far in any one direction. Personally, my blog helps me feel connected to others all over the world and I learn quite a bit perusing my Reader. I may spend hours in a day online, but it is in small bursts, interspersed with activity. I crave fresh air to clear body and mind!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I read recently that we shouldn’t sit more than 3 hrs a day …& the less social media the better :))

    Sorry I can’t visit so often now – 1. On the break 2. Writing a lot 3. My family is here with visit!

    But as usually, enjoyed your post 👍👍👍

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s quite true. When I was working that desk job, I walked every day at lunch. I am much more active now that I’m retired, but the old bones and tendons don’t stretch quite as well 🙂 I completely understand the time constraints, and I do love it when you stop by. You’re one of my roles models in this crazy writing world 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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