Did you know that around 40 million photos are uploaded to Instagram each day? How about you? Do you own any social media account?
Surely most of you would say yes; whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Path, or any others. Around 80% of the people in the world have their own private social media accounts; and right now, more than 40% of them are looking at their gadget, logging in to their social media account.
Unconsciously, most of us are addicted to social media. What makes it so special that it makes us addicted to it? Have you ever realized what social media has been doing to our brain? Here are some explanations for it!
Fear of missing out
This is the fear that occurs when you feel pressured to have to do what other people are doing and share every life experience. FoMO is the biggest influence that social media has on people, especially for users below thirty years old. The fear of missing out updates provides the temptation of writing and checking messages and e-mails while multitasking, such as driving. People are all trying to establish their own lives and the focus will be around social network. When other people are doing something that is not what we’re doing, our primitive survival responses will be triggered. This is also one of the reasons why we always unconsciously follow the trends.
Affecting our emotions
The time you exchange emojis with your friends, it does affect your emotion. The exchange of emojis was found to exercise the part of the brain that affects emotion. This also happens at the time you feel great after having positive comments or likes on your latest selfie on Instagram. Our emotional attraction sometimes appears to be tied to have an audience more than to connect with people. During these times, the mentioned part of the brain lights up as when one takes heroin or other addictive substances. Many also consider that social media is almost the same as drugs. But depending on how you use it, the benefits of social media can also produce an incredible value.
Posts on social media mainly present the idealized version of a happening. Psychologically speaking, this may lead users to compare themselves to the others and start thinking less about their own life. Let’s say that you had a crappy day and when you looked at your newsfeed, people were going particularly well in their day; or during the time when you felt a lot of pressure, but someone in your timeline was experiencing worse than you; of course, it would have likely affected your mood. People do comparisons to assess feelings, strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and perspectives.
Helping us with socialization
There are people who are shy or introverted when it comes to socializing directly with the others. According to an annual research by American Psychological Association, social media helps adolescents to gain social skills by using it. This phenomenon occurs because they feel safer and more comfortable with communicating behind the computer or gadget screen. Other researches presented by The British Psychological Society showed that people with low self-esteem might use social media to bond them with the others, pulling themselves up from slumps in their mood. Social media doesn’t necessarily take us away from our real world, but instead can be used to enhance connectivity and preserve relationships with other people.
Social media is a very broad term. Get smart with social media and depending on how it’s being used, it may become an excuse to stop your productivity or a platform to make something extraordinary.