Social media has drastically changed the way we communicate, learn, share and engage with the world— it’s also changing the way our brain functions.
Many types of research have shown that the regular use of social media is changing brain structure, function and cognitive development. let’s dive into the key areas which are affected:
While using apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, viewers are viewing endless content and scrolling endlessly. This [Ma1] [Ma2] leads to constant processing of the content. The constant influx of information, app prompts and notifications seeking our attention.
This puts our brains in a constant state of multitasking, thus, hindering our ability to focus and shortening our attention span.
Researchers say, that social media compete for attention and give continuous new content. heavy social media users become less able to ignore distractions. Which leads to poor cognitive power and shrinks the part of the brain associated with maintaining concentration.
Memory and Information Processing:
A study suggests social media affects the content of memories, the recollection of memories, and the capacity of memory.
Researchers believe social media is affecting our transactive memory— the way our brain divides information and decides where to store it.
This is again related to massive information going into the brain. The brain’s ability to identify which information is important and which is not diminishes.
Social and emotional responses:
Social media is made to be addictive. Every[Ma3] [Ma4] [V5] ping, every like, every comment and every tweet presents a little hit of dopamine to our brain, thus, creating reward pathways in our brain and causing us to desire more of it.
However, the absence of these leaves us with the feeling of emptiness, sad, anxious or even leads to depression because our brain isn’t getting hit by dopamine.
Research has also shown that people using social media tend to compare their lives with that of others, which also leads to questioning their self-worth, and importance and reduces self-esteem.
Few tips to avoid damage from social media:
Is there any solution to these ill effects of social media? What should we do to reduce the overstimulation of the brain and overwhelming information flowing into our brain?
These are a few tips to reduce the ill effects of social media usage.
- Reducing screen time
- Being aware of the impulses
- Spending quality time with friends and family
- Delete social media apps
- Dopamine detox.
Surely there is a need to reduce the usage of social media as people are losing their attention. decline in quality of life, more stress, and depression.
Hope this article has brought your attention to the underlying ill effects of social media.
Social media is not all wrong, it keeps us updated with the latest trends and what’s happening in the world and keeps us connected with friends and with the world. but there is a need for mindful usage of social media.