The effects of social media on the brain

Naturally, the constant use of social media and technology as a whole must be having a detrimental effect on not only our perspective, but our brains too. This article delves into what some of these adverse effects are, and what the implications could be for the future:

1. Changes to your appetite

It has been found that photos on Instagram of ‘food porn’ can compel users to overeat, due to heightened hunger from the appeal of the photos. As well as this, viewing these images after eating can trigger hunger again.

2. It can hurt your self-esteem

This is a relatively obvious one. With the constant images of how we ‘should’ look, plastered all over social media – especially with celebrities having their own social media accounts, can make users feel down on themselves. The internet perception of how we supposedly should look is extremely different to the real-world. Dangerous stuff.

3. Effects on conversations

When you’re having a conversation on Messenger or iMessage, it is in black and white. More often than not, things get taken the completely wrong way on social media, sparking private arguments as well as arguments on posts and so forth. Susan Greenfield from Oxford University has stated: “Perhaps future generations will recoil with similar horror at the messiness, unpredictability and immediate personal involvement of a three-dimensional, real-time interaction.”

4. Emotional programming

On Facebook, the emoji that somebody puts after a message can determine how the comment is taken. A laughing face makes it a joke, and a sad face makes it serious. It has been investigated that the use of emojis can trigger the same part of the brain that one-on-one emotion triggers. This stems from the psychology of a chemical relationship.

Bet you weren’t expecting some of those?



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