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This is Your Brain on Social Media. Any Questions?

Is social media your drug of choice? The folks over at AsapSCIENCE believe it may be. This short informative video demonstrates how increased use of social media begins to wire the brain in new ways causing an addiction not unlike drugs or alcohol.

The video tells us that 5-10% of social media users are unable to control how much time they spend online, and 89% of those surveyed admitted to experiencing “Phantom Vibration Syndrome” (believing their phone vibrated with anticipated social media updates when it did not). The study also seems to support the theory that social media is making us more selfish and narcissistic with up to 80% of an online user’s discussion being self-involved broadcasting rather than actual conversation.

Those numbers should cause some concern. Of course it’s also important to remember those stats are skewed as many social media platforms are purposely geared to discussing yourself and you reactions, where you have been, or what you personally have seen or experienced rather than as a platform designed for any real discussion.

One of the most interesting takeaways from the video is the idea that increased social media use may actually hinder rather than help multitasking abilities by making it more difficult for you to filter out the surrounding noise. On the other hand the video presents the idea the romantic relationships are actually stronger with given an online component, especially when it helped begin the relationship. I guess it’s not all bad after all (or at least not as bad as your brain on drugs).

Now too much of anything is never a good thing, but I’m not expecting this video is going to make anyone drop social media cold turkey (nor should it), but it does demonstrate how our interactions online may be changing our habits or thought patterns in subtle ways without us even realizing it. And with record numbers now interacting daily on social media maybe, like any other stimulus that creates a physical and chemical reaction, awareness of how it might be effecting you is always useful information.

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