Social media is literally reshaping our lives. But more than that, it is altering our brain chemistry. Studies have revealed the consequences of our obsession with social media. We know that using social media can literally be addictive because it gives an instant reward for a click. It is true that social media can be a boon or a bane in an individual’s life. It all comes down to an individual ‘s decision to not let social media overpower them and hamper their thought process.

Here are five ways social media is changing our brain:

  • It affects your ability to focus: Studies have found that when comparing heavy media users to others, they perform much worse during task switching tests. Increased multi-tasking online reduces your brain’s ability to filter out interferences, and can even make it harder for your brain to commit information to memory. Your brain is not able to put enough focus on the primary tasks and it leads to delay of work.
  • It’s like a drug: So what is an addiction? When you prioritize things of lesser importance over tasks which carry more importance, then it is termed as an addiction. Similarly, social media has paved its way into our day to day lives. You will find yourself in situations where you prioritize scrolling through posts on social media sites over something get carries greater value. It’s like a drug, isn’t it?
Picture source: Medium
  • It’s changing how we interact: You will not turn a blind eye to the fact that you have created excuses to avoid social interactions. Social media has turned us into zombies. We avoid face to face conversations with people because it has instilled social anxiety in people. In fact, studies on relationships have found that partners tend to like each other more if they meet for the first time online rather than with a face to face interaction.

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  • It gives you Phantom Vibration symptom: Phantom Vibration Syndrome is a relatively new psychological phenomenon where you think you felt your phone go off, but it didn’t. In one study, 89% of test subjects said they experienced this at least once every two weeks. It would seem that our brains now perceive an itch as an actual vibration from our phone. The world is already full of people diagnosed with different diseases and social media is just adding to the problems.
  • Social Media Can Disrupt Your Sleep: Suffering from insomnia? Do you have a fixed routine of taking just 3-4 hours of sleep?  Your phone, computer, and tablet might be to blame. Medical Daily reported that the type of blue light that’s emitted from your devices could be keeping you awake at night. Insomnia can lead to more scrolling, which creates a vicious cycle of wakefulness. If you want to get some serious shut-eye, experts recommend disconnecting from your devices after 9 pm.
Picture source: Slice of Health

Instead of becoming slaves to social media, invest your precious time doing things that will keep you happy from within. Everything, when done in abundance, is bad and social media has its own way of playing with our brains. So learn to burst this bubble of imagination you have created for yourselves and live in reality. Because Black Mirror should just be a show on Netflix and not a premonition for the future of society.

Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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