Evolution Of Social Media
How Social Media Apps are manipulating our minds
Social Media companies have now transformed themselves into Billion Dollar Enterprises. The major reason behind their success is the evolution of social media. Now, these companies hold huge chunks of our data, which they used in analyzing human behavior. And now, social media is being used for changing our behavior, our beliefs even our habits by making use of persuasive technology(a technique of implementing psychology in Software design where the goal is to alter people's beliefs).
The platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. are playing with the chemicals in our bodies. E.g. Tweeting for 10 minutes can spike our oxytocin levels in the blood by 13% which reduces our anxiety levels and provides us the sense of trust and security, A social media notification releases Dopamine(A neurotransmitter) and our brain allows us to repeat activities which releases this chemical and ultimately becomes our habit, that is subconsciously planted to our brain.
What Is Dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in simple words it's a feel-good chemical. This chemical is responsible for various functions in our body like Motivation, Mood, Sleep, Focus, learning, etc. Our brain release dopamine whenever we try activities like eating our favorite food, Earning a lot of money, Drinking Alcohol even it was found that attraction to someone also releases dopamine in high amounts. And Now the Social Media Apps also does the same impact on us.
Several studies have found that cellphone addiction is leading to a decrease in our sleep quality and our ability to concentrate and increase loneliness and depression in humans and the effect is more severe on high school children.
Every conversation we make reflects 30-40% about us, We love talking about ourselves, As per the research by the Harvard Scientists But when we come under the influence of social media this number rises to 80%. the research conducted in the US also found a positive relationship between the females with social media addiction, reflected the traits of high narcissism and low self-esteem.
The notifications which we receive also excites us in a way to know what that notification might be, even its a text message, like, or a comment from anyone, releases dopamine due to which we receive a sense of pleasure that makes our brain send those signals along the reward pathways and our brain rewires itself in such a way that makes us addicted of getting more likes, comments .
We are now in a constant cycle of comparing ourselves with others by watching their feeds and believing that those users are leading a happier and more adventurous life than they are, here we do not realize that it's not the real them its just their image in a virtual world. But that virtual comparison leads us to a decline in self-confidence and gives us a sense of dissatisfaction from life.
Their Business Model
They run on a business model of Advertisements. And as of now the brands are more interested in knowing their customers they need data about their customers and they need precision in that data. And all these websites/Apps are in a race to gain our attention, To know more about us, About our behavior. As said in the social dilemma a documentary "social media serves to the brands, not us"
How they Are Different From Traditional Media
The difference between the Social Media and normal newspapers or tv is That Social Media entirely revolves around you which creates the difference. The amount of influence that Social Media was nothing in comparison to the Newspapers we read or the television we watch.
Need to step up
As we know these social sites will keep on capturing the data and will make more and more certain models of us with which they can sell that to the businesses and make more and more money
- We can try to set up a particular time limit for their use.
- Try turning off the notifications because they produce a large amount of dopamine.
- Try to maintain distance from your phone 2 hours before sleep and try to practice it more.
- We need to take some steps like setting up an age limit for the use of smartphones as we have in case of alcohol, Smoking, etc.
Practicing these techniques might remain enough to control the Social Media Addictions keeping in mind the positive things these applications have brought into our lives.