Every time you see a like go up on a status or photo, get a reaction on Facebook, or have someone add you as a friend, it is like hearing the blinging noises of a casino. To the average mind of a social media user, the pop up of every notification is alike a spin of the roulette wheel. A win ignites sheer excitement and pleasure. A loss can create deep disappointment and shame.
“Blame that social rush on your nucleus accumbens,” The Wall Street Journal writes. The nucleus accumbens is the area of the brain most well known in the neuroscience model of addiction for receiving the barrage of pleasure-messages from the dopamine neurotransmitters. In addition to being a pleasure source, the nucleus accumbens is also responsible to reputation. Logically, that means, your sense of reputation is deeply linked to pleasure. When you feel you are seeing the rewards or signals of a good reputation, you are going to feel pleasurably about it. When you feel the opposite way, you are not going to feel very good at all. According to the article, neuroimaging research found that this area of the brain is the most active when people receive some sort of compliment on Facebook. “The strength of the nucleus accumbens response to positive social feedback could even predict how intensely you’ll use Facebook,” the writer offers.
The Power Of The Like
Our obsession and deeply intrinsic sense of reward with social media engagement comes from evolution, the author suggests. “Our brains evolved to forage for food, and now we voraciously forage for information,” the author adds that, “Smartphones have made information available all the time, right in our pockets. Our foraging instinct gets hijacked by such easy access…”
What Are The Risks
Gambling addiction is fueled by the thrill of not knowing what is going to happen. There is an obsessive desire to win, but an equally exhilarating panic of losing yet again. Each time you open a social media app, there is no guarantee that your latest post will have any engagement at all. The throw of the dice is enough to keep you coming back over and over again. Social media addiction is not yet realistic, but as a term it is being more widely used. Research is finding that partners who interact with their phone more than their significant other endanger and harm their relationships. Compulsive social media use can, if nothing else, greatly skew our sense of self esteem and self worth, replacing our authentic interactions with real people by the small icon of a heart or a thumb presented by a screen.
If you are experiencing stress or suffering mental health disorders as the result of your social media use, call Aurora Recovery Center today. Our residential programs are designed to help you achieve the freedom you seek and a lifetime of recovery. 844-515-STOP.