Dark facts of social media
How social media is programmed to exploit the vulnerabilities of your brain.
Have you ever felt like, that you are so obsessed or so addicted to social media that you keep staring at Instagram all the time, scrolling your newsfeed all day, sending snaps for streaks?
If yes is the answer then you must read this article.
Let suppose you upload a photo on your Facebook or Instagram page and suppose 30 of your friends are online and are using Instagram at that particular time. Your photo gets displayed to them and then they hit the like button or drop a comment on your post.
Now, from here where the actual game starts, You don’t get all the 30 likes or comments to your photo as soon as they do. Perhaps you get the first 4–5 likes on your photo. When you see those likes and comments you feel happy and a chemical named Dopamine starts to trigger in your brain, The same Dopamine which is released when you consume alcohol, drugs. The prime motive of this chemical is to trigger once more and here where the problem starts.
Your brain wants another dose of dopamine and now you get another 4–5 likes, so on and so forth. In the meantime, your brain is fed by multiple dopamine hits, that you literally crave for dopamine via likes and comments and for that, you check Instagram very often. This is how social media apps are being programmed.
How Dangerous can Dopamine be?
Studies show that prolong use of social media can lead to increase of dopamine levels by 400%, it is nearly as same as when you consume cocaine,an extremely addictive and dangerous drug.Perhaps social media addict brain is as similar as that of a drug addict brain.
Reward and crave
Companies like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat hire individuals called Attention Engineers. These folks draw principles from gambling and have good command on human psychology , Brain functioning. They program apps in such a way that, they reward you with likes, comments, views, tweets, retweets and make you crave for that, so you spend a lot of time on their apps. They control when and how much time should your post be seen in your friends’ news feed.
You might have observed that most of the social media apps have notifications in red color. This is because red is a symbol of danger and your brain immediately responds to that stimuli.
Facebook used to have blue notifications back then, but no one was responding to their messages and when they changed the color to red, Facebook usage rate spiked up so rapidly.
You might have observed in malls that all essentials that you are seeking aren’t placed at one single spot in fact they are spread across the mall and there would be a chocolate section at the bill counter. This is strategically designed so that you end up buying more products and so is the case with these platforms. They show some captivating stuff that you cannot escape. So end up spending more time than you wanted to be. You might have experienced this with Youtube.
You sometimes might have felt that your phone is vibrating for notification or ringing though there was’nt any call or notification. This is called PHANTOM VIBRATION SYNDROME. Humboldt University of Berlin research says that 1 out of 3 social media user is susceptible to experience this syndrome every 2 weeks.
Social media users are more prone to loneliness, emotional imbalance, inability to communicate with people directly, being inpatient, lack of decision making, being inactive, getting angry easily and the effect gets more worsen for children, whose age is less than 12 years. It causes great damage to their critical and creative thinking.
My motive behind this article is not to convey that social media only has cons, it does have pros as well, which you know. My motive is to acknowledge the reality, so you don’t become victims for their own profit.
All the information that has been furnished above was taken from research papers conducted by various international universities all across the globe and also by some of the employees from Facebook.
Also, do check out the Youtube transcript of this blog here