For most people, social media is an essential part of their lives. It is super convenient to have access to family, friends and important news 24 hours a day. Yet constant access to information is not at all good for our brain.
Social media has evolved from a new development into an obsession for many people. It became more than just entertainment, because it really started to belong to your life. Only now do we see how the countless apps not only control our lives, but also influence our brain.
Social media addiction
Likes have the same effect as sugar. It is addictive and you only want more. Your brain creates a kind of reward system that is only reassured if you have received enough likes. Children and teenagers in particular are sometimes disappointed if they have received few likes for a particular photo or message. The need for attention is growing, so is the need for social media. We spend a considerable part of our life scrolling through social media. According to a Social Media Today infographic, an average person spends around two hours a day on social media. Eventually this will turn out to be four to five years of your life. Uhhh, the I-have-no-time-excuse is now officially out of the world.
Social media has become an important source of interaction for many people and that can have a negative impact on how your brain develops. Dr. J. Richey, associate professor of psychology at Virginia Tech, told Collegiate Times: “People need to be able to communicate face-to-face with each other to ensure that the brain develops well. By replacing talking with typing, it becomes difficult for our brain to pick up social, but also non-verbal cues that could normally be seen on someone’s body or face.
We often think that we give ourselves a break by scrolling through social media, but the opposite is true. TIME reports that your brain takes 15 to 25 minutes to regroup after reading a Facebook message and focus on what you were doing. Your brain therefore needs time to absorb all the information and then get back on track. So leave your phone a little more often during work. The answer to social media is just like with alcohol “do it in moderation”. Tackling yourself a little more strictly when it comes to social media will help you and your brain a lot better.