5 ways that social media and the internet are affecting our brain

With social media sites being used by one third of the entire world, they’ve clearly had a major on society. But what about our bodies? Here are 5 crazy ways that social media and the internet are your brain right now!

Can’t log off? Surprisingly, 5 to 10% of internet users are actually to control how much time 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 those with drug dependence have. Specifically, there is a clear degradation of white matter in the regions that control processing, attention and . Because social media provides immediate rewards with very little required, your brain begins to rewire itself, making you these stimulations. And you begin to crave more of this excitement after each interaction. Sounds a little like a drug, right?

We also see a shift when looking at . You might think that those who use social media or switch between work and websites are better at multitasking, but have found that when comparing heavy media users to others, they perform much worse during . Increased multi-tasking online reduces your brain's ability to filter out interferences, and can even make it harder for your brain to commit information to memory.

Like when your phone buzzes in the middle of productive work. Or wait... did it even buzz? Phantom Vibration Syndrome is a relatively new where you think you felt your phone go off, but it didn’t. In one study, 89% of test subjects said they experience this at least once every two weeks. It would seem that our brains now perceive an itch as an vibration from our phone. As crazy as it seems, technology has begun to our nervous systems - and our brains are being triggered in a way they never have been before in history.

Social Media also a release of dopamine - the feel good chemical. Using MRI scans, scientist found that the centres in people’s brains are much more active when they are talking about their own views, as opposed to listening to others. Not so surprising - we all love talking about ourselves right?
But it turns out that while 30 to 40% of face-to-face conversations involve communicating our own experiences, around 80% of social media communication is self involved. The same part of your brain related to orgasms, motivation and love are stimulated by your social media use - and even more so when you know you have an audience.
Our body is rewarding us for talking about ourselves online! But it’s not all so . In fact, studies on have found that partners tend to like each other more if they meet for the first time online rather than with a interaction. Whether it’s because people are more anonymous or perhaps more clear about their goals, there is a statistical increase in successful partnerships that started online. So while the internet has changed our verbal communication with increased physical separation, perhaps the ones that matter most end up even closer.

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