With social media sites being used by ⅓ of the entire world, they’ve clearly hadan major influence on society. But what about our bodies? Here are 5 crazy ways that socialmedia 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 muchtime 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 thosewith drug dependence have. Specifically, there is a clear degradation of white matter inthe regions that control emotional processing, attention and decision making.
Because socialmedia provides immediate rewards with very little effort required, your brain beginto rewire itself, making you desire these stimulations. And you begin to crave moreof 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 socialmedia or constantly switch between work and websites are better at multitasking, but studieshave found that when comparing heavy mediausers to others, they perform much worse duringtask switching tests. Increased multi-taskingonline reduces your brains ability to filterout interferences, and can even make it harderfor your brain to commit information to memory.Like when your phone buzzes in the middleof productive work. Or wait...did it evenbuzz?
Phantom Vibration Syndrome is a relativelynew psychological phenomenon where you thinkyou felt your phone go off, but it didn’t.In one study, 89% of test subjects said theyexperienced this at least once every two weeks.It would seem that our brains now perceivean itch as an actual vibration from our phone.As crazy as it seems, technology has begunto rewire our nervous systems - and our brainsare being triggered in a way they never havebeen before in history.Social Media also triggers a release of dopamine- the feel good chemical. Using MRI scans,scientist found that the reward centres inpeople’s brains are much more active whenthey are talking about their own views, asopposed 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-faceconversations involve communicating our ownexperiences, around 80% of social media communicationis self involved. The same part of your brainrelated to orgasms, motivation and love arestimulated by your social media use - andeven more so when you know you have an audience.Our body is physiologically rewarding us fortalking about ourselves online!But it’s not all so self involved. In fact,studies on relationships have found that partnerstend to like each other more if they meetfor the first time online rather than witha face to face interaction. Whether it’sbecause people are more anonymous or perhapsmore clear about their future goals, thereis a statistical increase in successful partnershipsthat started online.
So while the internethas changed our verbal communication withincreased physical separation, perhaps theones that matter most end up even closer.Speaking of social media, we had you ask usquestions on twitter, instagram, facebook,tumblr, google+ and every other social platformwe could find and did a Q&A Video over onAsapTHOUGHT! So if you feel getting some insiderinfo on AsapSCIENCE and behind the scenes,check it out with the link in the description!Got a burning question you want answered? Ask it in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter.We also finally got a PO Box, for all of youamazing science lovers who have requestedto send us mail or other stuff over the years.And we’d love to hear from all of you! Sofeel free use the address on the screen orin the description box.And subscribe for more weekly science videos!
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