Social Media Is Changing Your Brain

With social media sites being used by ⅓
of the entire world, they’ve clearly had

an major influence on society. But what about
our bodies? Here are 5 crazy ways that social

media and the internet are affecting your
brain right now!

Can’t log off? Surprisingly, 5-10% of internet
users are actually unable to control how much

time they spend online. Though it’s a psychological
addiction as opposed to a substance addiction,

brain scans of these people actually show
a similar impairment of regions that those

with drug dependence have. Specifically, there
is a clear degradation of white matter in

the regions that control emotional processing,
attention and decision making. Because social

media provides immediate rewards with very
little effort required, your brain begins

to rewire itself, making you desire these
stimulations. And you begin to crave more

of this neurological excitement after each
interaction. Sounds a little like a drug,

right?

We also see a shift when looking at multi-tasking.
You might think that those who use social

media or constantly switch between work and
websites are better at multitasking, but 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 brains ability to filter

out interferences, and can even make it harder
for your brain to commit information to memory.

Like when your phone buzzes in the middle
of productive work. Or wait…did it even

buzz? 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

  How social media affects our mental health

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.
As crazy as it seems, technology has begun

to rewire our nervous systems – and our brains
are being triggered in a way they never have

been before in history.

Social Media also triggers a release of dopamine
– the feel good chemical. Using MRI scans,

scientist found that the reward centres in
people’s brains are much more active when

they are talking about their own views, as
opposed to listening to others. Not so surprising

– we all love talking about ourselves right?
But it turns out that while 30-40% of face-to-face

conversations involve communicating our own
experiences, around 80% of social media communication

is self involved. The same part of your brain
related to orgasms, motivation and love are

stimulated by your social media use – and
even more so when you know you have an audience.

Our body is physiologically rewarding us for
talking about ourselves online!

But it’s not all so self involved. 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. Whether it’s
because people are more anonymous or perhaps

more clear about their future goals, there
is a statistical increase in successful partnerships

that started online. So while the internet
has changed our verbal communication with

increased physical separation, perhaps the
ones that matter most end up even closer.

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Speaking of social media, we had you ask us
questions on twitter, instagram, facebook,

tumblr, google+ and every other social platform
we could find and did a Q&A Video over on

AsapTHOUGHT! So if you feel getting some insider
info on AsapSCIENCE and behind the scenes,

check it out with the link in the description!

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feel free use the address on the screen or
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