Hooked on Social Media

Hooked on social media

– human beings have always had a great desire to connect with one another
– social media is captivating & ere are currently 2.2 billion users world-wide, and includes all age & demographic groups
– often involves a love-hate relationship regarding possible over-dependence & losing real social relationships
– it is a distilled, curated world despite its compelling nature
– there is speculation about whether you can be “addicted” to use – Internet is deliberately designed to be “sticky” & to encourage “problematic use” (affects functioning in other areas of life)
– a clinical psychologist notes that problematic use is still in e minority
– impacts identity formation (young people have many identities in the online world & thy have lost sight of who they really are)
– fear of not knowing (FONK) & FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
– the idea of being in the know has always been important for teenagers
– unless I am online, I will not be in the know & will be missing out
– young people can become quite anxious if asked to go on a “digital diet”
– holidays without online access can elicit a grief response in the young person
– in the area of cyber-bullying, he likens social media & the human proclivity to keep going back to check if there are other comments (often negative) to like having a ore tooth & checking it with your tongue – he notes the trauma such social media exposure can cause the young person
– he notes how social media plays to the human interest/desire to broadcast news rather than be the recipient of it
– people often pass on comments/stories (they have not read) because they are trying to be a news service themselves
– He says that human beings get a dopamine hit whenever they share or gather news stories for others
– He says social media seems to impact young people in the following ways:
1) Sleep disturbance
2) Anxiety
3) Depression
[These are bidirectional]

Revenge Porn is a large issue

A Pittsburgh study of young people & social media use showed:
– that young people who checked social media more often (amount of time & frequency if checking) were more likely to develop depression than those that checked less frequently
[what it does not answer is whether young people who are already depressed are more likely to use social media as a substitute for socialising &/or a compensatory strategy for social isolation]
– The question remains: Does social media lead to envy and/or cognitive Distortions that others are happier than you?
– the researcher also discussing the amplification effect of negative world messages/news stories in people’s news feeds (extreme views often); seeing others being happy; seeing friends leaving them out of real-world social activities

– note: The American Paediatric Association Has begun to theorise whether there is such a thing as what they refer to as “Facebook depression”

– he believes critical thinking is required in social media
– that people need to question the idea that what they see on social media is not necessarily “Reality” & can often be a distortion

the clinical psychologist notes the following:
– human beings are on-average processing 5x more information everyday than they did in 1985
– we are interacting more broadly with other people
– social media needs to involve both broadcast & being a recipient (young people he says want to help others)
– he says taking away technology is problematic for parents. Instead he argues young people need to be involved in conversations about how to live both an information-rich & experience-rich life – that it is not enough to live virtually

Source: ABCRN All in the Mind | Podcast date: 16 October 2016


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