Any type of addiction is dreadful, no matter what the narcotic may be, if it is alcohol, cannabis or twitter.

            In this era of smartphones, selfies and hashtags, it's no surprise that the majority of the populations first instinct to do in the morning is check their Facebook status. And it's no surprise seeing as social media sites are severely addicting.

            "In moderation, social media can be a great way for teens to connect to others, to relate to their peers and to express themselves," Dr. Karrie Lager, a child psychologist working in Los Angeles, says.  "However, excessive internet use can have serious negative consequences," She adds.

            A research conducted by  CASA Columbia, states that 70 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 use social media in a normal day, which totals to 17 million teenage users of media sites. 

            The relentless use of social media has negative effects on anyone. Imagine looking at how people photograph the best parts of their lives and then put it out there in the virtual universe. Everyone’s happy, having a good time, and living it up. But that's not really reality though.

            Imagine swallowing all the pointless information that’s completely devoid of any deeper truth or spiritual meaning. Plugging in from the second you open your eyes can lead to that existential feeling of disconnection that a lot of us experience.

            Imagine damaging your career because of your addiction to status updates and #selfies. Imagine neglecting your life outside the screens for likes and retweets. Imagine being chained to your smartphone because you can't go five minutes without refreshing your snapchat feed.

            Social media is a heroin that most people can't shake off but what is it with social media sites that are so addictive?

            According to a study conducted by Harvard University's Psychology Department, "Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area,"

            “There’s good evidence the feedback we get from technology – the retweets and bings and pings that come out of the phone every time somebody sends us a text message – create a reward system in the brain that gives us a little squirt of dopamine each time.” Says Steve Daviss of the Baltimore Washington Medical Center. 

            It explains so much, doesn’t it? But it’s also a little scary and not just because it proves how shockingly self-absorbed we humans really are, but basically our brains are being trained by social media to constantly seek these little highs and I do wonder about the effects of that brain-rewiring on our real life interactions.

            Social media definitely serves a purpose but it is abused by many. An addiction that draws you in with every photo upload or status update. People do no longer desire to make real connections with real people, they would rather see how many “likes” they can get on an half-naked photos of them or the amount of followers they have.

Published by Ghela Marie