Stressing out on social media

Last Wednesday (4 November 2015) was National Stress Awareness Day. To mark the occasion Just Park created the Stress-O-Sphere, an interactive tool that explores what stresses people are taking to Twitter to talk about, divided by topic and presented in real time.

Surprisingly, health is the second most tweeted-about cause of stress, behind partners/families/friends but ahead of work and money. I say that this is surprising, although perhaps I shouldn’t be so shocked as much of the pressure to look a certain way or be a certain weight (which, let’s face it, is what many of us think about when we hear the word ‘health’) comes from social media – largely thanks to celebrities sharing altered images of themselves and giving the rest of us unrealistic ideals. So it makes sense that we’re expressing our concerns about it there too.

Stressful stats

Here are some of the key findings of the Stress-O-Sphere:

  • 50,000 tweets about stress are posted every single day – that’s one every two seconds 
  • Health is the second most tweeted-about cause of stress, with a post on the topic being shared every 10 seconds
  • Body image and sleep are the most tweeted-about health worries, featuring in 3,000 tweets per day
  • Eating is a bigger source of stress for Twitter users than smoking, drinking and drugs combined
  • More people tweet about health-related stress than anxieties over work, money or marriage

Wellbeing woes

Delving deeper into our wellbeing woes, Just Park found that the top 10 most tweeted-about health stresses are:

  1. Body image
  2. Sleep
  3. Diet
  4. Pain
  5. Hair
  6. Depression
  7. Skin
  8. Drinking
  9. Smoking
  10. Exercise

Obviously many of these are genuine causes for concern (although I’m not sure about number five…) and it’s upsetting to realise that insecurities about body image are so widespread, but I do have a little tip for anyone who’s ever posted about being stressed out over exercise. Instead of posting something negative about falling off the wagon, try sharing something positive, such as “I’m going to go to the gym three times this week and nothing is going to stop me!” Even if only a handful of people see your tweet, it’s a public declaration that you can hold yourself accountable to. If you’re stubborn like me it works like a dream!

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’m posting this now instead of last week, it’s because last week I was too stressed about work to look at emails about my blog! Me stressed is not pretty. It usually looks something like this…