Photo: Tim Robberts (Getty Images)
A new study has concluded that social media, along with television and video games, are not only a huge part of the average American’s life but are responsible for thousands of wasted hours. The study, conducted by PlayUSA, found that the average Amerian spends 1,471 hours (61 days) watching TV per year. As if that wasn’t bad enough, video games account for 382 of those hours, and social media siphons a blood-sucking 382 hours per year.
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In other words, roughly 631 billion total hours are thrown out the window in America per year.
The study goes on to suggest that if you spent even a small portion of that time learning new skills, you’d be surprised how far that would go. The study estimates that you could learn how to ski with just 1 percent of the time you spend behind a TV or become good enough at swimming to not drown (56 percent of Americans can’t swim according to the Red Cross). Or, you could learn how to speak a new language with just a third of those 1,471 hours.
Photo: PlayUSA Press
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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition manual (a.k.a. the Bible for mental health practitioners) recognizes Internet Gaming Disorder as a “Condition for Further Study” but doesn’t officially recognize it as a diagnosis yet. Still, it’s estimated that 210 million users suffer from internet addiction, and that includes people who check Twitter or Instagram the moment they wake up in the morning and can’t go to the bathroom without grabbing their phone. The number of hours spent on social media is only going up, so it’s more important than ever to be reminded that anything beyond moderation can be a bad thing.
Think you have a problem with excessive social media use? Take the Social Media Disorder Scale survey and find out!