The reward pathway in the brain is influenced by social media. When we are excited about something, our brain produces dopamine, which causes serotonin to be released. The euphoric flush that follows positive feedback is caused by a cascade of neurotransmitters.
When social media is used in moderation, there is evidence that it enhances the brain. A link has been discovered between a vast social media network and higher grey matter density, according to research. The ability to accomplish activities is influenced by the density of grey matter. As a result, those with larger social media networks have a better capacity to remember faces and have a better memory.
On the other side, there are some negative consequences that, if left unchecked, may become significant. The body experiences stress as a result of an increased urge to be on social media and a sense of withdrawal when not active. Cortisol levels rise when anxiety rises, and cortisol becomes damaging to your immune system over time.
Another issue is that it shortens people’s attention spans. It might be difficult to stay focused when there are so many possibilities for what to watch, write, or interact with. The risk of room scrolling increases for individuals who feel a responsibility to be aware of what is going on in the world or who are particularly drawn to unpleasant news.
How The Internet Has An Impact On Mental Health
Excessive social media use has the direct effect of detracting from time spent elsewhere. This involves spending time with family and friends, as well as participating in hobbies and physical activity. It may also begin to obstruct vital life responsibilities and productivity. As a result, people are likely to notice, and relationships will be jeopardized.
Excessive usage of social media may also affect your ability to make autonomous decisions.
When the majority thinks something different, people either start questioning themselves or want to just go with the flow. Although toddlers and teenagers are more likely to be influenced by peer pressure, this can also happen to adults.
To refresh news feeds with relevant content enticing to that individual, social media sites also use advertising methods specific to someone’s demographics and desires. Although this helps to fund the platform, it also makes it more difficult for the user to reduce or stop using it.
Signs You May Be Addicted To The Internet
The following are signs that you may be addicted to social media:
- When you’re not using social media, you’re always thinking about it.
- Devoting less time to other activities, hobbies, or social interactions in order to utilize social media.
- Overuse of social media to the point where it has a negative impact on several aspects of your life, such as work, education, and relationships
- When you can’t use social media, you may experience negative emotions such as anxiety and irritation.
- Making use of social media to cope with bad feelings
How To Keep Track Of Your Internet Use
Whether you have a current or past problem with social media use, it is critical to keep track of how much time you spend online. Anyone with regular internet access, if they are not careful, could encounter a problem at any time.
Check In With Yourself On A Regular Basis
You can tell if an adjustment is needed by being aware of your usage and checking in on a frequent basis. Then it’s just a matter of adjusting as needed. Also, make sure to check in with your mental health. Read more about how the therapy can help you with this, here.
Take A Mindful Break
It’s critical to take a vacation from social media when it gets harmful. This is known as a “digital detox,” and it occurs when people disconnect from electronic gadgets in order to focus on real-life interactions without being distracted. This break not only alleviates the harmful effects of excessive social media use, but also allows you to reconnect with others around you.
Examine Your Social Media Usage
Even something as easy as keeping a daily log of your social media usage can help. You can keep track of how much time you spend on social media, who you contact, and how you feel about it that day in this notebook. Recognizing and monitoring your usage can help you catch problems early and prevent them from getting worse.
This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.