Social Stress


A new study by the American Psychological Association says that constantly checking your e-mail, Facebook and Twitter accounts can be hazardous to your mental health.

As my back-home pal, Moon Dimple would probably say: “Well, duh. Next, they’ll tell us eating lard straight from the can is bad for you, too.”

It’s true that experts are always studying things that don’t need to be studied. But just to be sure, I called up one of the study’s chief researchers, Dr. Ima Navelgazer, for additional insights.

“So, doctor, how can e-mail possibly be bad for you?”

“Well, for one thing, have you ever gotten an email from a deposed Nigerian prince?”


“Well, I hate to break it to you, but he’s a phony. He doesn’t really want to deposit $10 million into your bank account.”

“He doesn’t?”

“No, the most I’ve ever heard of anyone getting is $2 million, tops. It’s hardly worth your time.”

“Interesting. Are there other e-mail hazards we should be aware of?”

“Yes, certainly. For instance, our crack researchers found that reading and responding to e-mails from your boss is definitely bad for you, and we recommend that you delete them immediately upon receipt without reading them. No one needs that kind of stress.”

“I’ll be sure to do that, thank you. Anything else?”

“Yes, you should be extremely careful about buying things online.”

“Ah, because of identity theft?”

“No, because the second you buy something online, ads for it start popping up on your computer screen.”

“That doesn’t sound so dangerous.”

“It can be if you buy something kinky for your girlfriend from Victoria’s Secret and your wife walks by the computer.”

“I see. But what about social media? Is that bad for you, too?”

“It can be, yes. For instance, have you ever seen those whiny Facebook posts where someone says ‘I suspect no one reads my posts, so to find out who does, please respond to this one with ‘I do!’ or I’ll drop you from my friend list.’”

“Ugh. Yes, I’ve seen those. They make me want to punch a flower.”

“You’re not alone. According to our research, those posts alone are responsible for a 15 percent increase in the national stress level. The only thing worse, statistically speaking, are cliffhanger posts.”

“What’s a cliffhanger post?”

“Those are the ones where people write, ‘What a day!’ or ‘Pray for me’ so that everyone asks them why.”

“I’m getting stressed out just thinking about it. But, doc, what about Twitter? Twitter can’t be possibly be stressful, can it?”

“It can be – if you’re a liberal and you follow @realDonaldTrump.”



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