Social Media…Our National Obsession

177
273
Social Media Our National Obsession

There’s a fine line between addiction and obsession.  Addiction is a disease that lasts a lifetime; obsession is an overwhelming desire that leads one to distraction, to the exclusion of all else.  As I watch the world evolve around me, I see people recklessly Tweeting and driving, breaking off relationships via What’s App, and spending more time at a dinner table surfing Facebook than they do enjoying the company of the person directly in front of them.  Given all the attention paid to the virtual world, with my fellow human beings walking around zombie-like, smart phones glued to their hands commanding all their attention, I can’t help but wonder whether we’re all engaged in one giant mass addiction that will impact society for generations.

Social Media Our National Obsession

Addiction is commonly associated with drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, smoking over-eating and even sex.  However, regardless of how it manifests, they all stem from the same inner-workings of our brains.  It has been determined that both ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ play key roles in determining if someone will become an addict.  If a person has one parent who is an addict, there’s an estimated 40% chance that she too will become an addict.  That rate almost doubles if both parents are addicted.  Yet, if someone born at greater risk of addiction is not exposed to the stimuli then the addiction with not arise.  This is particularly born out by an NCASA study at Columbia University, published in 2011, demonstrating that if someone begins using drugs or alcohol prior to the age of 18, they have a 25% chance of becoming an addict as an adult.  However, if use does not begin until after 21, that percentage drops to 4%.  Since practically the entire world is exposed to smart phones from a young age nowadays, this study would seem to argue for a broad potential social media surge of addiction on each and every main street.  But let’s delve further.

The brain is made up of approximately 86 billion nerve cells called neurons.  Neurons communicate with each other through chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.  Some neurotransmitters are inhibitory, making it less likely that the receiving neuron will carry out some action.  Others are excitatory, priming them to send signals to other neurons, inducing an action.  The cycle of addiction disrupts the normal functions of some of these networks.

The brain’s neural networks favor pleasurable experiences over non-pleasurable experiences.  This is generally controlled through the distribution of dopamine, serotonin and other brain chemicals.  Under normal circumstances, this serves us well, allowing us to enjoy such things as great food, sex and love.  However, in an addicted brain, this chemical distribution gets thrown out of whack.  Studies using PET scans and MRIs showing brain activity in both addicts and non-addicts, demonstrate a clear distinction in how they function.  Brains of addicts become so impacted by the disease that they sense diminished enjoyment in things that would otherwise routinely be pleasurable, the brain simply wants more of what it is addicted to.  Moreover, when an addict is not engaged in the addictive behavior, feelings of stress trigger norepinephrine, dynorphin and corticotropin, further nurturing the pull of the addictive behavior.  It not only feels good while you are doing it, it also feels bad when you are not.  In fact, recent studies have even shown similarities between the addicted brain and people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, further highlighting the critical nature of the disease.

Finally, addiction is not only affected by the physical mechanics of the brain, but also by psychological factors.  When someone is deprived of whatever is fueling his or her addiction, it triggers physical cravings or urges to engage in that behavior, as indicated above.  However, that’s only the half of it.  Addicts are also haunted by the specter of something called ‘euphoric recall’.  They remember how much fun they had while engaged in the activity.  How many times have you felt a phantom buzzing on your leg or in your purse and assumed it was your cell phone?  Well, you’re not alone.  Using Social Media gives many people the pleasurable experience of connecting with the world and feeling validated.  This euphoric recall increases your use of this medium and is yet another key factor to be considered in this debate.

This issue is more than merely academic.  Researchers at the London School of Economics found that when students were banned from having cell phones at 91 schools, those 130,000 students exhibited a 6.41% increase in academic performance.  Students previously identified as underachievers notched a 14.23% increase.  Whether it’s an addiction or simply an obsession, it clearly has an impact on our day-to-day lives.

Which brings us back to the main question – does our national obsession with social media and smart phones rise to the level of addiction?  Based on all the factors listed above, I think it’s clear that most people would not meet the clinical criteria for addiction. However, considering the general prevalence of addiction and cross-addiction in society, and the general topic of this magazine and its readership, I would guess that a number of you reading this article might just qualify.  But, please understand, that’s no reason to panic. Certain cross-addictions can actually be healthy (such as exercise), particularly if they help to avoid other, more problematic addictions, and are not ‘all-consuming’.  The only way to get at the heart of the issue is through honest introspection.  So, I politely suggest we consider our own personal social media habits and behaviors and conduct a personal account.  Are our virtual lives materially and negatively affecting our real ones?  If the answer is “no”, then great!  However, if the answer is “yes”, then it might be time to do something about that and support groups abound (paradigmmalibu.com, crchealth.com, addiction.com). As with all things addiction, it’s best to get out ahead of the issue before it becomes a problem.

For additional information on this perspective, please Google the article: Technology Addiction:  Are we Raising a New Generation of Addicts, by Lisa Strohm, JD, PhD.

177 COMMENTS

  1. There are actually remarkable upgrades on the layout of this page, I truly like that! Mine is about new upvc windows and now there are a lot of things to be done, I’m yet still a newcomer in website design. Take good care!

  2. I just like the helpful information you supply to your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and test again right here regularly. I’m rather sure I’ll be told plenty of new stuff right right here! Good luck for the next!

  3. There are certainly terrific modifications on the layout of the site, I definitely enjoy this. My website is about lucky patcher app and generally there are a lot of things to do, I’m yet still a newbie in webpage design. Take good care!

  4. I am really intrigued to understand just what site platform you’re utilizing? I’m experiencing several small protection challenges with the most recent website dealing with intercom system installation NY so I would love to find a thing far more safe. Have you got any solutions?

  5. A large percentage of of what you mention is astonishingly accurate and that makes me wonder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this in this light previously. This piece really did turn the light on for me as far as this particular subject goes. Nevertheless at this time there is actually 1 point I am not necessarily too comfortable with and while I make an effort to reconcile that with the actual central idea of the point, allow me observe exactly what the rest of your readers have to point out.Very well done.

  6. I came over here via some other page on wireless router and thought I might as well check out this page. I quite like what I see thus now I am following you. Looking forward to going over your blog all over again.

  7. I actually arrived over here via some other website relating to how to get followers on twitter and considered I may as well check this out. I quite like the things I see therefore now I”m following you. Getting excited about going over your website back again.

  8. Our LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) HGV training is based in East London, and our LGV/ HGV courses are taught by qualified DVSA LGV & HGV trainers. LGV was formerly known as HGV, where it used to be referred to as HGV Class 2 (now called LGV Category C) and HGV class 1 (Now called LGV Category C+E).

  9. Admiring the commitment you put into your website and in-depth material you offer. It’s good to find a website once in a while that is not the same out of date re-written information. Awesome read! We’ve saved your site and I’m including the RSS feeds to my own canon printer program site.

  10. Appreciating the time and effort you invested in the blog and in depth material you provide. It is great to come across a blog from time to time which is just not the same unwanted re-written content. Wonderful read! We’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to our canon printer installation online site.

  11. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to say a fast shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs which go over air freight services? I’m likewise highly fascinated with this! Thanks a lot!

  12. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some nice procedures and we are looking to exchange solutions with others, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  13. You are absolutely correct! I loved looking through this article and I will certainly get back for more as quickly as possible. Our site is about dental implants, you might take a peek if you’re interested in this.

  14. Admiring the dedication you put into this blog and in-depth material you display. It’s awesome to discover a blog from time to time which is just not the same expired re-written information. Amazing read! I’ve bookmarked your webpage and I’m including the RSS feeds to our stream movies web page.

  15. “I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.”

  16. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for inexperienced blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  17. It was actually great reading this info and I think you are completely right. Let me know if you are curious about more followers on instagram, this is my primary competency. I am hoping to check back with you soon enough, take good care!

  18. Hey there, you’re definitely right. I constantly read through your site content closely. I’m also interested in newest jailbreak, perhaps you could write about this from time to time. Take care.

  19. My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was once totally right. This submit truly made my day. You can not believe simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  20. Many thanks for discussing this, I bookmarked this page. I am additionally trying to find info on modem router, have you any idea where I might come across something such as this? I will be back in a little while!

  21. Thank you for this excellent article! I actually liked it.I’ll be sure to save this website and will come back in the future. I want to encourage you to keep on with your great posts, perhaps write about Arvind Pandit also, have a fine evening!

  22. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and in depth info you display. It is great to discover a website occasionally that is not the same outdated re-written material. Excellent read! I have saved your site and I’m adding the RSS feeds to my own environmental science jobs in australia page.

  23. Al Hadi AC Refrigration and Repairing is committed to giving your ACs a new lease of life. We have a team of experienced professionals which has serviced more than a 1000 units, much to the satisfaction of our clients. The effort at Al Hadi has always been to service a call in the shortest span of time and to close it with a happy client. The referrals we get is a testimony to our work. Try our services today!

  24. Al Hadi AC Refrigration and Repairing is committed to giving your ACs a new lease of life. We have a team of experienced professionals which has serviced more than a 1000 units, much to the satisfaction of our clients. The effort at Al Hadi has always been to service a call in the shortest span of time and to close it with a happy client. The referrals we get is a testimony to our work. Try our services today!

  25. Thank you very much for discussing the idea, I saved this website. I’m furthermore seeking information about real estate appraisal, are you aware where I could come across one thing like this? I will come back soon!

  26. Many thanks for discussing this, I bookmarked this page. I am additionally trying to find info on modem router, have you any idea where I might come across something such as this? I will be back in a little while!

  27. Dr.Punnet and her Teams are really a great cheater in Delhi for IVF, initially they say we will provide world best technology but after getting all money they all can’t do any thing and again repeat cycle or again take money for evry cycle same money, they all are playing with the emotions of allots of couples, God will never forgive you Dr. Puneet. this is very bad clinic, this is only earning money nothing else, avoid this doctor, try in AIIMS, GANGA RAM ANY OTHER Government hospitals are better, all private IVF centre are cheaters, maainly Dr. Puneet is great cheater in Delhi.

  28. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  29. Thank you for this excellent article! I actually liked it.I’ll be sure to save this website and will come back in the future. I want to encourage you to keep on with your great posts, perhaps write about Arvind Pandit also, have a fine evening!

  30. Thanks a bunch for this marvelous write-up! I genuinely enjoyed learning about.I will make certain to save the website and definitely will return in the future. I would really like to suggest that you keep on with your good job, perhaps write about new house design as well, have a superb afternoon!

  31. Are you tired of your ac repair in Dubai? Are you looking for Certified Professionals to carry out your ac repair with improved facilities and in an expert way?. Hot and humid conditions are not easy to tolerate, especially when you are not used to them. But, thanks to the air conditioners – living in such extreme settings can also become a pleasant experience, and more so if you are in Dubai.

  32. You’re completely correct. I enjoyed reading through this info and I will certainly come back for more as soon as possible. Our site is on microsoft excel, you might check it out if you’re still interested in that.

  33. Thank you for this excellent article! I actually liked it.I’ll be sure to save this website and will come back in the future. I want to encourage you to keep on with your great posts, perhaps write about Arvind Pandit also, have a fine evening!

  34. I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you encounter any web browser compatibility issues? A few of my own website audience have lamented regarding my bitcoin rate site not operating effectively in Explorer but appears wonderful in Chrome. Have you got any kind of recommendations to aid repair that problem?

  35. Many thanks for this wonderful write-up! I actually enjoyed it.I will make sure to take note of this page and will often return later on. I wish to suggest you to definitely keep going with your fine job, perhaps comment on wireless presentation systems as well, have a good morning!

  36. Thanks alot : ) for your post. I would like to comment that the expense of car insurance differs a lot from one insurance plan to another, mainly because there are so many different facets which play a role in the overall cost. By way of example, the brand name of the auto will have a tremendous bearing on the price tag. A reliable aged family car or truck will have a more affordable premium when compared to a flashy expensive car.

  37. It is indeed my belief that mesothelioma will be the most fatal cancer. It contains unusual properties. The more I look at it a lot more I am assured it does not react like a real solid tissues cancer. When mesothelioma can be a rogue viral infection, therefore there is the possibility of developing a vaccine and also offering vaccination for asbestos open people who are open to high risk of developing foreseeable future asbestos linked malignancies. Thanks for sharing your ideas for this important ailment.

  38. Thanks for the tips shared on your blog. Something also important I would like to express is that fat loss is not all about going on a fad diet and trying to get rid of as much weight as you can in a set period of time. The most effective way to lose weight naturally is by taking it little by little and following some basic tips which can make it easier to make the most through your attempt to lose fat. You may be aware and be following most of these tips, although reinforcing understanding never affects.

  39. I am really intrigued to understand what blog platform you have been using? I am experiencing a few minor protection problems with our latest website about traffic fines and I would love to find one thing a lot more risk-free. Have you got any strategies?

  40. I arrived over here from another web address about traffic fine check and considered I may as well look at this. I enjoy what I see so I am just following you. Looking towards checking out your blog back again.

  41. Thank you so much for the excellent content! I seriously enjoyed reading it.I’ll be sure to take note of the page and definitely will come back in the future. I would like to suggest you to definitely continue your great posts, maybe comment on credit card details that work too, have a fine evening!

  42. ANPC is a free nation for and by the living men and women of the earth. This Private Nation is a grassroots association based out of Indonesia having its own International Charter, Peace Treaty, Constitution, Rules of conduct and has adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. These Treaties have been Registered by International Notice to the Hague and World Court as well as other agencies worldwide. The entire goal and mission of ANPC is WORLD PEACE and freedom for all the nationals of the world, focusing on a peaceful gathering together of all tribes and nations. Our living men and women are to live as Peaceful Inhabitants on the land, striving always to create a better world today and for future generations.

  43. ANPC is a free nation for and by the living men and women of the earth. This Private Nation is a grassroots association based out of Indonesia having its own International Charter, Peace Treaty, Constitution, Rules of conduct and has adopted the Declaration of Human Rights. These Treaties have been Registered by International Notice to the Hague and World Court as well as other agencies worldwide. The entire goal and mission of ANPC is WORLD PEACE and freedom for all the nationals of the world, focusing on a peaceful gathering together of all tribes and nations. Our living men and women are to live as Peaceful Inhabitants on the land, striving always to create a better world today and for future generations.

  44. next
    Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting
    company you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your
    blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.

    Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it! https://goo.gl/NJ5roy

  45. I wanted to thank you a lot more for that amazing site you have made here. Its full of useful tips for those who are seriously interested in this subject, primarily this very post. You really are all so sweet in addition to thoughtful of others and reading your blog posts is a wonderful delight with me. And such a generous surprise! Ben and I are going to have excitement making use of your recommendations in what we need to do in the future. Our listing is a distance long and simply put tips will be put to beneficial use.

  46. “We stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page again.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here