Do you remember when you were young and glued to the TV in the lounge? Yup, sure you do, then you’ll also remember being told that you’ll get ‘square eyes’ or ‘goggle vision’ for sitting too close to and watching too much TV.
So far my eyes are normal and I don’t wear glasses so perhaps I was immune to that particular social disease however…what’s the go with social media addiction?
Now, to answer the titular question… yes, yes and oh yes!
Come on let’s be honest here. If you are frequent user of social media you’re guaranteed to be addicted to at least one aspect of what these sites offer. Ask yourself these questions;
- do you feel the need to check in several times a day?
- are you ever not signed in?
- are you a stalker/voyeur?
- are you a troll?
- have you just had a baby/life saving operation/near death experience and your first thoughts were how to update your status to best effect?
- do you get withdrawal symptoms when there is a power blackout and your various devices all run out of juice?
- do you get instantly angry when somebody posts something less than complementary about you?
- do you check in to receive your ‘fix’ of ‘likes’ and or ‘shares’?
- do you feel depressed when nobody ‘likes’ and or ‘shares’ your updates?
Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions you are a perfectly normal person under the kosh of the ‘dopamine loop’. ‘The what’ I hear you say, well, have a read of this article and bring yourself up to speed on how it all works then click back here pronto for more entertaining reading.
In short, when you go to open your inbox or message centre or whatever it is you’re expecting to receive nice little bits of info; rewards or stimuli if you will, you will feel a sudden little rush of joy followed by an empty feeling and a need to find another little rush of joy. This joy could be laughing your ass off at the party antics of your friends or, heaven forbid, some talentless celebrity and their latest bout of plastic surgery. Your brain releases some good stuff and all of a sudden you feel good but the problem is that you want more, and more as you get used to all these little hits of dopamine making everything just dreamy. The boffins call them face-book-jolts(FBJ’s) and they are measured in jolts per minutes or JPM’s.
This is the ‘dopamine loop’. Welcome to FaceCrack
Personally I loves me Crackbook and generally feel good after opening it’s addictive covers but not all of us have the same experience. I have a sense of humour and a thick skin but not everyone is so generously endowed. Were I a 14 year old with acceptance issues I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if at least 30 people didn’t like my latest update.
This reminds me of the eerily prescient 80’s film, ‘Max Headrooom”. It’s set in the future, a future where Tv networks have taken over the world and brainwash people with subliminal ‘blipverts’. Well, these bliverts are just the same as ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ or emails in your inbox or even cute ‘me has cat’ pictures.
I reckon this leads to ‘Facebookbrain’ or just ‘FaceBrain’ for short. This is where the brain is no longer able to think for itself but must be fed instant visual images and words to encourage a reaction. No logical or complex thoughts are possible and everything has to be in HD!
I smoke and I Facebook, I might try and give one of them up, which one? Can’t do both.
So, here’s the question again, are you addicted to social media? Do you get anxious when you can’t update or check in? Do you spend more time telling friends on Facebook about your dinner rather than talk to the people you’re having dinner with?
No. Well how about you take the poll and find out.