Take Back Your Brain From Social Media

Take Back Your Brain From Social Media.

Humans are creatures of habits, and that is how our brains learn once we have accommodated a routine that appears comfortable. The flip-side to this also explains the addictive capacity of certain cognitive and behavioural processes; at times driven unrelentingly by our unconscious craving or internalised reward system. Social media, similar to an addiction to computer gaming or checking incessantly our mobile phones, can be one such gripping habit, beyond our rational control. Addiction usually refers to compulsive behaviour that leads to negative effects; at times interfering with other important activities such as work or school. In that context, a social networking addict could be considered someone with a compulsion to use social media to excess, for hours on end. But it’s hard to tell when fondness for an activity becomes a dependency, and crosses the line into a damaging habit or addiction. Does spending three hours a day on Twitter or Facebook reading random posts from friends and strangers mean you are addicted? How about five hours? You could argue, you were just reading headline news or needed to stay current in your field for work, or catching up with friends’ activities, right? Researchers at Chicago University concluded that social media addiction can be stronger than addiction to cigarettes and booze, following an experiment in which they recorded the cravings of several hundred people for several weeks.

This article explores these areas of concern for some, and suggests what can be done to counter what has become an automatic addictive response to social media.

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