Social Media Addiction-The Science Behind It
The phone beeps and you rush to see who pinged you. You happily leave the work you were doing and start a chat with the person or see his/her pics. Isn’t that true? You might be feeling that you are becoming a slave of social media but this post throws light on the science behind addiction to social media and it is not so bad at all.
It may be hard to resist the call of social media particularly when you are in the midst of a tough project, folding laundry or doing other chores that are less interesting than seeing what your friends are doing. There is actually a valid reason for your addiction to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A new study says that we all need a mental break and that is why our brains crave for some social interaction.
The social nature of the brain is biological. When a person wants to take a break from work, the brain network is the same as the network we use when we see our Facebook updates and find out what our friends have been doing. The study’s researchers showed the participants some photos of people that were similar to those you see on social media sites such as Facebook.
All the pictures had a caption which was either about how that person was feeling or a physical description of the person. Participants who looked at the emotion captioned pictures experienced a major activity in the prefrontal cortex (a part of the brain) revealing a social connection by simply gazing at a person’s photo. A very similar pattern of brain behaviour was found when people took a mental break. All this made the researchers conclude that we are made to seek out other people whenever we are not working.
Do you do Facebook stalking? Well, you can blame that to the brain structure (prefrontal cortex) that is responsible for making you see the world through a social lens. When prefrontal cortex is activated, your perception of other people increases, your judgments about their emotions becomes fast and that too 10% fast to be precise.
Although it may not seem to be a big advantage but being 10% faster in each conversation, time after time will make a person better prepared and totally in control of their social lives. The craving of our brains for social interaction can explain the addiction so many of us feel for social media. However, things are debatable, there is still this argument for ‘alone time’.
Alone time is all about getting ready to see world from a social point of view, seeing other people’s feelings, thoughts and goals. Hence, alone time is also important. We walk with our brain trying to reset itself to begin thinking about the minds of other people. Becoming emotionally dependent on social media is pretty simple and you have to be very careful about it.
So, it is clear that you needn’t feel guilty when you have the urge to check Facebook for any new updates before the board meeting, it is the social break that your mind really needs!
What do you think about social media addiction?
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