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Social media is one of the most powerful neurological stimuli ever created.


Using social media activates some of the same neurological structures that are involved in drug addiction and gambling addiction. Social media hijacks the brain’s reward system and negatively impacts learning, memory, productivity, and creativity. However, because technology is an integral part of all our lives, there may be ways to utilize it so as to maximize its benefits and minimize its downfalls..

With its big, complex brain, the human mind is much more responsive to the many stimuli it receives through social media than previously thought. That ability to process external information and interact with others is what makes us distinct from other animals. This has helped humanity evolve, concludes a new study published in Nature,  the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal.

Facebook page of an entrepreneur's social media on desktop and mobile.

Our brain’s neural networks are constantly rewiring and updating in response to our environment.

The software on most neural networks is patterned after that of the human brain. Any learning that we do, and therefore any improvements in thinking, come from changes in how this software works. As the brain learns, its neurons create new connections, reshape existing ones, and strengthen some and weaken others. In effect, they relearn at each performance of the task they are involved in. Most Software providers offer training tools that allow you to identify which neural connections are too strong or too weak. They adjust the rate at which grow or decay using “Hebbian” learning algorithms that are analogous to those which occur naturally in the brain.

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Not a day goes by when we don’t see or hear about social media.

There are more than two billion active users tweeting, posting, updating, and pinning away online—and that’s only the beginning. This Article by World Psychiatry offers a closer look at the neurological structures responsible for our modern relationship with social media. Not only does it offer insight into how we perceive social media. But it also provides tips on how to maintain healthy use of social media within our brains and communities. It helps you understand what makes social media so addictive and gives you an insight into the psychology behind why we share our personal information online.

The neurological structures that make the brain work so hard when we are on social media are known as the default mode network (DMN). They are recruited to generate feelings such as anticipation, longing, and fear. These emotions pull us back onto social media. Further evidence for this comes from a study published in Biological Psychology that shows that greater activity within the DMN predicts a stronger desire of the users to return to Facebook over time.

“09 August 2021”

Nick KarvounisAgile Content Strategist