5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Affecting Your Brain

Did you know that a third of the entire world uses social media? Social media has had a huge influence on our society, but few people are aware of the effect it has on our bodies. Here are 5 strange ways that the internet and social media are changing your brain this very minute!

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1. Increased Addiction

Did you ever notice that you just can’t log off of social media? Statistics show that up to 10% of all internet users cannot control the amount of time they spend on the web, and that 22% of that Time is Spent With Social Media. It may not be a substance dependency, but it is a psychological one. In fact, the brain scans of internet users showed that similar impairment of regions as people with a drug addiction. The biggest damage and degradation of white matter occurs in regions of the brain that control decision making, emotional processing, and attention.

This can be easily explained. Social media is a great way to get fast rewards with little effort. The brain gets used to getting such forms of neurological excitement and begins to rewire itself, causing you to thirst for these rewards and stimulations and therefore crave more and more social media with each interaction. Sound familiar? That’s right – it’s just like a drug!

2. Ineffective Multitasking

Most people who use social media constantly click back and forth between websites, work, and social media. It may seem that they should be excellent at multitasking, but that is not the case. A recent study showed that heavy social media users did much worse in a task-switching test than those who don’t use social media. In fact, when a person multitasks online, it becomes harder for their brain to commit information to memory and filter out various interferences.

3. The Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Did you ever hear a phone vibrate when in fact it did not? A study showed that 89% of people experience this once every few weeks. This is a common phenomenon known as the Phantom Vibration Syndrome. Their brains have begun to perceive an itch as a vibration from a phone.There’s no denying it – technology is in the process of rewiring our nervous systems and triggering our brains in a way they never have been triggered before.

4. A False Release of Dopamine

Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical, and it has been proven that use of social media triggers its release. Scientists used MRI scans to look at people’s brains and noticed that when individuals take about themselves or their views, the reward centers in their brains are much more active than they are when people are listening to others. About 30-40% of live conversations involve our self-involvement, while as much as 80% of social media involves communicating our own views. It’s no wonder people enjoy social media so much!

False Release of Dopamine

In fact, use of social media stimulates the same part of the brain as love, motivation, and orgasms. That stimulation and enjoyment is heightened when a persona knows they have an audience. So, we are being physically rewarded by our body for talking about ourselves online.

5. Relationship success

Fortunately, social media is not all about ourselves. Interestingly enough, some studies have shown that social media can have a favorable effect on people’s relationships. The results of these studies show that people who have met in social media and not in real life tend to like each other more and have a stronger relationship later on. Statistics show a real increase in successful partnerships that begun on the web. It is not very clear why that is. Perhaps people are more open about their values and future goals on the web than they are in real life, or they are more anonymous. So, people may be spending less time physically together and less time actually communicating verbally, but their relationship can still be real and promising.

Whether you are just getting started with Social Media or are looking to take things to the next level, we are here to make a positive difference. To get started, schedule a 30 minute interactive session where we can answer some of your biggest questions and give you direction on how to accelerate your online efforts.


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