Social media has become a significant part of our lives. The more we use it, the stronger the influence it has on our brains and affects it crazy ways!
How many times do you pick your phone up to scroll the news feed on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat? By now, you probably have lost count of it. Social media has become a permanent part of our routines, and hence, our brains.
More than one-third of the world’s entire population uses social media. All of us are deeply addicted to social media. We pick our smartphones up after every 10 to 15 minutes just to scroll through the same posts that we saw a few minutes earlier. Unable to do so puts us in an indescribable condition.
Finding it hard to log-off and unable to stop yourself from scrolling the news feed of your social media account? Do not stress out, because you are not alone. Majority of social media users find themselves in a similar situation.
Continuously using social media is more like a psychological addiction. You might not realize, but it is affecting and changing your brain in some super-crazy ways!
Makes Your Brain a Victim of Phantom Vibration Syndrome
Have you ever felt your phone buzzing and when you check there are no notifications? If yes, then your brain has fallen victim to the Phantom Vibration Syndrome. The state when you feel your phone vibrating even it is not is a type of hyper-vigilance. Hypervigilance is a condition that occurs due to your nervous system being hypersensitive.
It is not a rare condition and is found in the majority of the people that excessively use social media. If you are one of these people, it is time that you start cutting down on your usage of social media.
Affects Your Brain in the Same Way as Drug-Dependence
Remember how you explained to your drug-addict friend how drug addiction is messing with their mental health? Well, it is time that you revisit what you told your friend. Thinking why do you need to be lectured upon drug addiction? You need to know that the brains of people who excessively use social media show similar signs of impairment of regions of those with drug-addicts.
Like drug-addiction, social-media addiction affects the regions of the brains that control decision-making capabilities, emotional processing, and the focusing abilities in a human. When you use social media for an extended time, your brain begins to rewire itself, and you begin to crave for more of the neurological excitement.
Reduces Your Ability to Focus
Finding it difficult to focus on your work or your studies? Is the failure of staying attentive affecting your performance and productivity? Want to know why, even after trying numerous focus building exercises, you are unable to stay focused and attentive? The answer to this is the excessive usage of social media.
Heavy social media users experience multi-tasking extremely challenging. Even though these people think they are good, the studies have proved otherwise. Heavy social media users perform very badly in task switching tests. These people get easily distracted due to the multiple streams of media they are consuming. It takes away the capability to filter out interferences, which is what makes these social media addicts prone to distraction.
Affects the Way You Interact
Did you know that using social media stimulates the same areas of your brain that govern motivation, love, and orgasms? The self-involved conversations make you happy and take it as a physiological reward.
According to some studies, couples like their partners more if they meet online rather than face-to-face interaction. The relationships that start online on social media have a tendency to last longer than those that start through face-to-face interactions.
The excessive use of social media is significantly affecting the way we interact with each other.
Activates your Brain Rewards
We cannot deny that the feeling that we get when someone likes one of our social media posts. When you compare the number of likes on your posts with the others, you get a feeling of pride and happiness.
One of the many reasons why people get so easily addicted to social media is the fact that it activates your brain rewards’ center. The more likes you get on your posts, the greater and better the rewards are. The reason behind it is the fact that it enhances the activity in the neural regions such as social cognition, attention, and imitation.
Using social media is one of the activities that the majority of people really enjoy, what people do not understand that excessive usage of anything is harmful like using drugs, using too much social media messes with your mental health.
Do not just stop using social media, but at least try to limit the use. Other than the phantom vibration syndrome, several other mental problems come with excessive usage of social media such as hyper-vigilance and insomnia.
If you are looking for ways to improve your mental health, you need to start with reducing the use of social media. You will be surprised to see the ways it improves your mental health.