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Study: Social Media Doesn't Stress People Out; People Stress People Out

A new study out from Pew Research Center found that use of social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter is not linked to stress and anxiety in users.

This contradicts the long held fear that digital connectivity can take over people’s lives, creating time and social pressures that heighten risks for stress.

However, the study did find that increased awareness of stressful events in the lives of others can, in fact, increase your own stress levels. In other words, stress is contagious.

But here’s the problem: Pew is saying social media does not cause stress, but what is read on social media does. Aren’t those one and the same?

Here & Now’s Robin Young spoke with Re/code social media editor Kurt Wagner for a closer look.

  • Read the study: Social Media and the Cost of Caring
  • Guest

  • Kurt Wagner, associate editor of social media at Re/code. He tweets @KurtWagner8.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

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