Modern world without the internet service or social media connection is literally unthinkable. Social media in various forms and ways has become part and parcel of common people across the globe irrespective of socio-economic backgrounds. Communication, marketing, sharing of opinions and ideas, entertainment, and a lot many other things can be done through the various social media platforms. This explains clearly why so many people remain glued to these platforms round the clock. People irrespective of their age groups, genders, economic brackets, ethnic groups, and religious sects make use of these virtual platforms. The pattern of this use is considered to be quite normal and even necessary on certain accounts. However, there are millions of others who make an overt use of these social networking sites.This is when this use is converted into a compulsive and excessive usage pattern and these people get addicted to the indulgence of different social networking platforms.
What is social media addiction?
Research in this domain has revealed that nearly 5 to 10% of the American population is addicted to social media. This is a behavioral addiction where the person has excessive attachment and dependence on social media. Such people experience an uncontrollable urge and desire to keep on visiting various social media sites incessantly. The time they devote to social media scrolling often makes them compromise their quality of personal life.
Effects of social media addiction
The effects of social media addiction can be very similar to any other form of addiction. The addict can have mood swings. Such addicts often have a pleasurable state of mind when they engage in social media interaction and exploration. They can have cognitive, behavioral, and emotional preoccupation with such platforms. With time, they spend more and more hours on social media. Times come when they cannot live even a moment without it. When they are made to abstain from these engagements, they can also experience withdrawal symptoms. Addicts can even experience things like conflict or relapse due to this type of behavioral addiction.
Social media indulgence affects the brain
The social media addiction is often compared to drug addiction. This is done because over indulgence in social media platforms often generates a generous dose of dopamine in your body. Activities across social networking sites like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram creates similar neural circuitry that is also seen when a person indulges in gambling. Recreational drugs also produce similar neural waves within the body. This is why users wish to return again and again to these social media networks. Activities like receiving remarks, likes, and mentions create a sense of reward within the brain. Similar reward sensations are also created when an individual uses recreational drugs like cocaine. This is why neuron scientists opine that using social media for a long stretch is like experiencing the chemical reactions when dopamine is directly injected into the system. This is exactly what makes social media addictive both psychologically and physically.
In the real life and related platforms people get about 30 to 40% chances to speak about themselves. However, on the virtual platforms, this chance is elevated to about 80%. This is why people are increasingly taking up the different social media channels to express their ideas, concepts, opinions, talents, virtues and so much more. These virtual platforms can be a real advantage if handled with responsibility and restrain.Also you may like to know Dangers of Social Media and How to Protect Your Teenager.