Crazy Ways in which Social Networks Change Our Brains
With the expansion of social media use, everything is done differently than before their existence. You can do lots of things in no time, such as saying happy birthday to a friend you haven’t seen for years, in the meantime watch some new videos, comment on someone else’s thoughts on Facebook or look for interesting pictures and thoughts on Pinterest.
According to AsapSCIENCE, social networks do not only affect the way we behave and go through the day, but also cause changes in our brains. They have created a video speaking about the ways in which social networks change our brains.
It seems that becoming addicted to social networks is almost as easy as getting addicted to drugs.
According to AsapSCIENCE, 5-10% of people using the Internet don’t actually have control over how much time they will spend online. This is not a substance addiction but a psychological one, but brain scans of Internet addicts and substance addicts show similar impairments which make them less able to control their emotions, their attention span is weaker and they are less able to make sensible decisions. This is because social networks give you little rewards such as likes and positive comments which stimulate the areas in your brain in charge of excitement and happiness, and you have the need to feel that again.
When it comes to multitasking, tests have shown that people who switch through several media devices are less effective and have issues when all that information is supposed to be stored in their memory.
Distractions in the middle of your work, such as your phone notifying you that there’s a new update for Angry Birds, can make you forget about what you were thinking before it rang. Also, sometimes, for heavy media users, it happens that they think they feel their phone vibrating, even though it actually didn’t. They started connecting an itch with their phone vibrating, which means that media devices started to alter our brain functions.
Social media releases a dose of dopamine, a chemical that causes you to feel good.
AsapSCIENCE found that more dopamine is released when people get to state their own opinions and attitudes than listening to others. While face-to-face communication is up to 40% about our own experiences, around 80% of social media communication is all about you. When using social media, the part of the brain associated with love, orgasms and motivation is stimulated. The stimulation is more intense if many people want to hear or read what you have to say. Basically, our bodies are giving us a reward for exposing ourselves online.
Studies have also shown that partners who met each other online usually like and understand each other better than those who met face to face.
This may be because people communicate more freely and anonymously online, so they reveal more about themselves and let the other person get to know them better. According to statistics, more relationships succeed if they started online than those that started by meeting in person.
More and more people are living a large proportion of their life sitting behind the desk and speaking with people online instead of engaging in eye-to-eye contact. It seems that today this is a much easier way to connect with people and maintain relationships.
However, this has also had a large impact on people’s ability to interact in person.
Heavy media users become more introverted and would rather chat with someone on their phone than talk to you, while you’re sitting together at a coffee shop.
As useful and good social networks are, if you aren’t careful and let yourself be dragged into that world, you could become seriously addicted.