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Social media has become very popular over the last few years and pretty much has taken over the world. In fact, psychologists estimate that as many as 5 to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction today. Social media is addictive both physically and psychologically, which is insane.
According to a new study by Harvard University, self-disclosure on social networking sites lights up the same part of the brain that also ignites when taking an addictive substance. The reward area in the brain and its chemical messenger pathways affect decisions and sensations.
When someone experiences something rewarding, or uses an addictive substance, neurons in the principal dopamine-producing areas in the brain are activated, causing dopamine levels to rise. Therefore, the brain receives a “reward” and associates the drug or activity with positive reinforcement. Social media is just wrong because there are these people on Instagram called “Instagram Models”, they edit and photoshop their faces and bodies.
They make these regular teenage girls jealous and make them feel so terrible about themselves, when really these “Instagram Models” look so much better in their photos than in real life.
I think social media has its pros and cons. The pros are social media creates jobs for people, it can help spread the word about a special cause or your business, and it even helps with news and fundraisers for something tragic that has happened.
The cons are it creates ways to hurt people, such as cyber bullying. Influences lack of emotions, decreases face-to-face communication skills, reduces family closeness, causes distraction, creates a skewed self-image and facilitates laziness.
Teenagers these days have their faces in their phones, and they lose valuable time to live their lives and go explore the real world.
Social media really skews minds and can make an individual think “oh my life isn’t as perfect as his/hers” and it really has a mental impact on that individual. Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing. That equates to about 42% of the current population. Well, social media doesn’t only affect teenagers, there is approximately 68% of American adults using Facebook.
I just think these statistics are interesting so here is some more, to break down the social media usage between generations, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users (EMarketer, 2019). Obviously, social media plays a large role in some lives. So, I personally believe social media is a good and bad thing as I mentioned earlier. It’s a wonderful thing for businesses and expanding your market, that’s because so many people are on social media.
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