Excessive use of social media is turning out to be one of the biggest problems caused by it among others. As we evolve, so does the technology. Every invention can potentially be misused and reduced to a bane rather than a boon. We have seen this over and over again, especially with devices of entertainment. When the TV was introduced, it was mostly watched for news. However, with the passage of time, we saw TV being put to other uses like entertainment. It wasn’t long before parents realized that their kids were glued to the TV and it affected their eyesight.
A shocking 420 million people suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder
We can see the same thing happening with social media today. There are over 420 million people who are hooked to their social accounts. This does not only waste time, but also has greater significance in terms of health because it leads to serious issues like attention deficit syndrome, shorter attention spans, and also increases the risk of depression by elevating anxiety. It can also interfere with weight gain and obesity besides causing sleep disorders. This is known as the IAD (internet addiction disorder). This could lead to Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or even Parkinson’s.
How social media is affecting our immune system and making us unhealthy
Various independent studies show that if you are using social media for over two hours every day, you are likely to feel lonelier than you would have otherwise felt. You are more likely to feel alone without any human interaction with the outside world. Social isolation leads to a feeling of anxiety and depression. This, in turn, may lead to cardiovascular diseases due to excess stress hormones. It also may have an impact on your immune system making you vulnerable to inflammation. It could lead to children growing to be unhealthy, weak, and vulnerable to diseases. Researches claim that isolation could be as bad as consuming tobacco. Other problems faced by such children could be a fast decline in their cognitive functions.
Social media targets us by capitalizing on our fear of missing out. This is why visiting social media websites is researched to be shown as more addictive than drinking or smoking. With too much being shared on social media, some of the most basic needs of humans, like sleep or exercise are being compromised. Studies have shown that social media targets the reward center of our brain thereby turning us into compulsive users. The spike in dopamine when we see our tweets or updates being appreciated makes our brain crave it. Additionally, gaining social approval interferes with our oxytocin and makes us release the hormone.
The height of this hormone reaches when it peaks by 13%. This is shown to have happened in people who get favorable responses and likes on social media. Incidentally, this is equivalent to the excitement we get when we get married to our boyfriend or girlfriend. Other than this, a study shows that an average millennial checks this phone 32 times a day. Even if they are not addicted to social media, this could hamper their eyes by damaging the retina and leading to glaucoma or macular degeneration.
It could interfere with melatonin production leading to unhealthy sleeping patterns, which in turn gives rise to several health complications that you would not have normally imagined.
This is why it is so important for us to understand the importance of digital detox and specifically what factors make social media and the internet so lethal.
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