Current Research The Upsides The Downsides The verdict is still out on whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens.
A possibly subtle cause for the absence of clear cut protocols to detect and classify social media overuse as an addiction is that unlike chemical dependency alcohol, recreational drugs etc. Furthermore, there are several benefits of social media and internet to the individual and society and hence it becomes difficult to label them as being "addictive".
For social media use in particular, it is hard to know if the addiction is to the medium or to the interaction. Besides, the withdrawal symptoms are not biological as are normally found with substance abuse and addiction.
However, gaming-addiction, television addiction, gambling addiction etc. Neuroimaging studies have clearly shown the portions of the brain that are involved when engaged in social media. The fact that social media sites engage the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex could be a reason for the natural proclivity to social media compulsive use.
For adolescents and teenagers, this very neuroscience of social media overuse can be dangerous. The adolescent brain is a work in progress, and neuroscientists have found that the prefrontal cortex, the area of decision making and social interactions, is still growing during adolescence.
Given the plasticity of the neural connections of the human brain, the portions that are used constructively, continue to grow and develop, while those that are mis-used, would grow in unhealthy ways. While the use of the prefrontal cortex in creative endeavours would hardwire the cells and connections that are associated with creativity, passive social networking could result in loss of creativity.
The fact that social media participation triggers this survival instinct, could trigger its compulsive use. Teens have exaggerated activity in the nucleus accumbens area part of the ventral striatum of the brain, which is associated with reward. This explains why pleasure and pain are more intensely felt during teenage than any other time of their lives.
The increased activity and size of the nucleus accumbens among adolescents is the reason for social approval and social outcomes administered by peers to be highly valued. This behavioral tendency has been associated with increased activity in the reward network of the brain.
Social media provide the adolescent with a constant supply of social rewards in terms of peer recognition and approval, as can be seen from the triggering of the reward network, which can serve as a powerful attraction to continued social media use. It has been found that social media navigation is associated with a surge of dopamine; Dopamine is stimulated by unpredictability, by small bits of information, and by reward cues, all of which are characteristics of social media use.
The release of dopamine during online social networking makes it much harder for people to resist the activity. Compulsive use of social media results from a combination of biological, psychological and social factors and there is still much research underway to understand the individual and combinatorial factors responsible for social media overuse among adolescents.
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If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.The verdict is still out on whether social media is damaging to the mental health of teens.
This is in part due to the lack of research. Some studies show that online connections with small groups of people can be beneficial to teens, while other research points to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
Social media affects the brain in the same way that a hug does. Here’s how it works, and what marketers can do about it. Mar 10, · A possibly subtle cause for the absence of clear cut protocols to detect and classify social media overuse as an addiction is that unlike chemical .
Addiction, for one. Social networking already accounts for 28 percent of all media time spent online, and users aged between 15 and 19 spend at least 3 hours per day on average using platforms.
The growing popularity of social media networks and applications has had many positive and negative implications for society.
Social media has revolutionized the way we view ourselves, the way we see others and the way we interact with the world around us. While social media has many positive implications, including promoting awareness of specific causes, advertising businesses and helping.
The term “social media addiction” is frequently seen in headlines and tossed around by television pundits. But society should not be so quick to attach the term “addiction” to social media activities, experts say.