You wake up in the morning and the first instinct is to check your phone, to see what happened in the last 7-8 hours of your sleep. Or maybe you want to check your email box to see if your manager replied to your message. There are lots of pros and cons when we discuss social media platforms, but there are some things we might not have noticed yet. We create such habits when using social media that sometimes can have a serious impact on our lives, making it our worst enemy.
Social media platforms – how addictive can it be?
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are apps that keep us interconnected and help us socialize. But there is a fine line between using those platforms for socializing and developing an addiction. Scientists discovered that when using these apps excessively, our brain acts as if we are using drugs. The brain reward area triggers the same type of chemical reaction as drugs do. “When someone experiences something rewarding or uses an addictive substance, neurons in the principal dopamine-producing areas in the brain are activated, causing dopamine levels to rise.”, reports Addiction Center.
Besides spending a lot of time without even noticing, social media can also affect mental health. While scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, some people might see a beautiful wedding, an exotic vacation, or a gym session. Other people might compare themselves with those pictures and believe that they are incapable of doing anything. Perhaps you know the feeling. You just had a bad day at work and you get home and open Facebook. You see, your colleague posting a status with his promotion. Even though you have nothing personal with him, you instantly feel insecure.
Are we really happy?
Social media also promote a toxic environment. We often see posts of happy people enjoying their lives, and rarely people who fail. In real life, it is normal to have good and bad days. Unlike reality, Instagram creates a destructive thought in our minds that each day must be unforgettable. This is not only affecting our perception of life, but it is also making us question the quality of life.
Indeed, our digital world is now filled with influencers and people who might look very important or smart. They give us the impression that their opinions are necessary. In reality, it is just another business trying to sell its product. These platforms are free to use, we are not paying anything. This is why advertising companies are fighting for our attention. Have you ever wondered how are influencers making so much money? That’s only because they know how to sell a product, which in this case is either their life or the illusion they create.
To keep ourselves sane, we must understand that we are the only ones to choose the content we consume every day. Moreover, people need to understand that it is very easy to create a false impression using beautiful images and a nice description. We are the ones to decide in what ways can social media influence our lives, by transforming an enemy into a good friend.