You Will Wish You Knew This Before You Started Using Facebook
The rate at which people use Facebook has skyrocketed over the years. More and more people are gaining access to the internet and hence social media platforms. On average, you could belong to more than five social media platforms and actively be involved in three, mostly Facebook included. There are things that you might have never known about these social media platforms. Social media’s influence in your life is so strong that it can lead to a complete rewiring of your body functions. The cognitive part of your brain slowly gets programmed leading to addiction and other complications such as brain damage and depression.
Here are the things that you’d wish you knew before you clicked that button that got you to the facebook login page.
1. Facebook is intentionally designed to cause addiction
This statement may sound cliché because of its continued use but it’s very much true. Social media platforms are specifically designed to cause addiction to its users. Think about it, how are these companies able to make so much money by just letting people use their platforms? The answer is that the more hours you spend on the platforms the more money they generate. Platforms such as Facebook make money through advertisement and by creating visibility for products. It is obvious that the more people they get on the platform the more products they get to sell on behalf of the clients.
This means that it is their duty to make sure that you spend more hours going through your social feeds. In most cases, no one persuades you to join a social platform. I am almost certain that no one coerced you to log into Facebook or Instagram. Chances are, you might not even remember when and how you joined and that is the trap right there. The engineers at these companies have crafted very catchy features on these platforms that hook your attention without even realizing it.
For example, when you open Facebook, the first thing you see is, “what is in your mind.” Instantly that sends a signal to your brain that you need to write your thoughts, even before you write this, you see several notifications about events, other people’s status updates, and stories. This is known as attention fragmentation. The social engineers make sure that when you log into Facebook you follow some kind of redirection framework that you end up spending much time just scrolling. If you are not reading other peoples comments you are probably commenting on statuses, watching clips or sharing social adverts. Without knowing it you end up spending all your time on Facebook.
2. Facebook can tamper with your psyche
A foundational study conducted by a researcher known as Robert Sapolsky indicated that social media addiction can be equated to dopamine addiction as high as the one found in drugs. He named the study, “the magic of maybe.” This refers to the constant urge that you have to check your social media feeds with a ‘maybe’ attitude, you keep logging into your Facebook, Instagram or your preferred social platform hoping that maybe someone has texted you, or maybe someone has sent you a text message.
The excitement you get when you receive a message or when someone likes the picture that you posted causes the body to release a chemical. The body releases dopamine into the bloodstream due to the excitement trigger. If this chemical is constantly supplied to the bloodstream, it can cause addiction. You, therefore, feel the urge to satisfy the anticipation of this happiness. Before you know it, your body gets addicted to the Facebook login button and you cannot control yourself.
3. Facebook can cause depression
The human need for attention is inherent and cannot be quenched. Regardless of your class, status or age, you will always feel good when other people compliment you. This creates a constant urge in the body to look out for affirmation and approval. Fortunately, or unfortunately, social media is full of these avenues. It gives you an opportunity to post your photos, videos, and comments. This in return receives likes and reactions from people hence creating a subtle sense of joy in your ego. Without noticing it you will continually put out your life on social media for people to see and praise you.
What happens eventually is that once you post something and it receives massive likes, you feel the pressure to outdo yourself in the subsequent post. This makes your mind vulnerable to searching for approval from people. Eventually will shift your attention from the real-life issues and you will constantly focus on feeding other people’s expectations hence causing depression.
4. Facebook can cause permanent brain disorders
Things that are deemed highly addictive or dangerous have an age limit. People are not allowed to engage in them until they attain a certain set age. For example, in some countries you are not allowed to drive until you are 16 or 18 years old, this is because it is considered dangerous for a child to control a motor vehicle. On the other hand, in most countries you are not allowed to drink alcohol until you get to the age of 18 years, this is because alcohol is highly addictive and one is needed to attain the age of an adult so that they can make informed decisions.
Social media is highly addictive but there is no age limit to control its use. Children at the age of as low as 9 months are now hooked to social media. More and more children find YouTube, for example, as their most preferred source of entertainment. The fact that they have not developed the natural defense mechanisms due to their young age exposes them to danger.
Increased screen time reduces their concentration spans due to the damage to their cognitive parts of the brain. This causes brutal effects to their young bodies leading to permanent brain disorders. The attention span is likely to be affected to an extent they grow with it.
All hope is not lost though, you can decide to take control of your social media use and avoid getting affected negatively. Make the necessary adjustments to avoid the named dangers. The main solution is to reduce the time you spend on these platforms and preoccupy your mind with meaningful activities.