How Addictive is Social Media?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

social media apps

With today’s technology, we have access to practically any information we seek, right at our fingertips. We can easily access bank statements, make purchases, communicate with others across the world, and complete work any time we are connected. There is a plethora of benefits this yields – convenience, a variety of sources, instant gratification, security and more. While technology can benefit our lives in many ways, it can also hinder it.

Applications such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have taken over our phone use, as most of us spend our time updating statuses, posting pictures, connecting with friends, and viewing others’ accounts. Many of us don’t even realize the extend to our use, and social media addiction is more rampant than you think. In fact, BBC claims that we are spending, on average, at least 2 hours of every day using platforms such as Facebook.

The Huffington Post has noted 5 types of digital age addiction:

  1. Device addiction – computer game addiction
  2. Information overload – web surfing addiction
  3. Net compulsions – online gambling or shopping addiction
  4. Cybersexual addiction – online pornography or online sex addiction
  5. Cyber-relationship addiction – addiction to online relationships

There are several reasons for social media addiction – neuroimaging studies have shown that various parts of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction, anterior temporal lobe, inferior frontal gyrus, and the posterior cingulate cortex are engaged when social media is used. A study conducted by researchers 2015 found that when the human brain is not actively engaged in something, it will begin focusing on other people to see the world through a “social lens”. This is when many people turn to social media, video games, browsing, etc.

Another study conducted by researchers from Claremont Graduate University found that social networking triggers the release of the generosity-trust chemical in our brains – something that scientists say is like falling in love. Much research has been done on social media addiction and several reasons have been found, but the key impact is that social media is affecting us in many ways. If your media habits have negatively impacted your day-to-day functioning and are negatively affecting your relationships with others, you may have an addiction.





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