By Romeesa Khan.
The average person is almost related to a social media platform. Birthed as a cyber body part and used to navigate its way through virtual life in an aim to seek entertainment and reinforcement, yet this highly plausible invention is conducive to the rise in social-media addiction amongst its users.
The risks of using social-media are notably documented as it accomplishes dependency. It is revealed that over 6% of people in the UK have ‘nomophobia’ according to Secure Envoy, a recognized as to describe social media dependency “with no signs of abating”, whilst a poll conducted for Common Sense Media reveals that “50% of teens feel that are addicted to their mobile devices”. The constant exposure to social stimuli synchronizes with abused mental health that is comprised of a lack of concentration, attention span and inviting insomnia. The needy engagement affects mental agility and viciously circulating feelings of inadequacy. Yet this is accompanied with the pleasure derived from social media as the brain hits dopamine overload: Individuals are in constant receiver mode when they are stimulated with social media content and activity as the continuous engagement heightens pleasure. The upload is followed by anticipation and mental reinforcement harmonizes with feelings of recognition. Many master unflawed posts with an aim to seek admiration as surges of dopamine overload the pleasure center in the brain. In this virtual state of being likes became the powerhouse of stimulating the ego and rewarding the user with gassed up feelings, yet this soon became obsessive and a measure of one’s self-esteem.
The issue of self-esteem is further exampled by the idea that users may hesitate to upload a truly meaningful or unfiltered post as it may or may not generate several likes to indicate a level of approval. This later results in emotional baggage that can be reflected in post self-esteem (I did not intend to pun). When gaining approval and pleasure or concealing reality is more rewarding than authenticity, the platform may have unintentionally become a design of escapism that only perpetuates inadequacy and seems to be expunging self-satisfaction. With the imprisonments of mental addictions uprising over the last 25 years since our tech era, some cannot sleep. Some miss their sleep train in order to catch social media as it just does not feel right to rest. The body calls rest yet the mind disagreed. In fact, people go restless, people go anxiety, people go depression, and when the idea of lacking is internalized with a ‘need’ for materially packing, people respond by copping what is socially deemed fashionable even if the pockets may be as empty as the realness being claimed. Individuals seem to be surrendering their power to social media and are being robbed in their wake. Individuals tap into these apps unintentionally because it’s now formed within the subconscious; they did not intend to tap into Instagram when their phone was to hand but they did. The exposure to constant stimuli is shortcutting the brain and possibly creating the hub of anxiety, yet our brains were not wired to such stimuli exposure from AM to PM. The chemical changes caused in the brain inflames negative neural adaptation. Negative evolution. The modern and futuristic human could be lending themselves into a state of underdeveloped existence. If people do not reward themselves with social-media stimulus they may become restless, distracted and if they continuously use social-media with constant exposure, they are probably circulating those either or all feelings associated with inadequacy viciously. It is important to understand that even if it does not hinder your own individuality, any user could be subject to its downfalls in some shape or form if not used effectively. No doubt its intelligence has manifested into breakthrough marketing and relationship-building but as with many things, its counterpart is relevant to consider.
I love innovation, yet from the day I did not like the idea of a virtual world becoming a part of me and this will literally be a part of us when the global cashless system comes into place. In this polarity, I have the love for it too as it brings the distant closer and allows me to express myself to a global audience. Yet I understand, it’s long to fully dismiss a product that we are increasingly conforming to for whatever reason. So what am I saying?
Image John Yuyi
There are ways to use social media to your advantage if you are aware of how it truly advances you. Considering these conditions, it is more important than ever to promote the rawness of reality and this should be welcomed when using social media. If people love to conform to standards, conforming to authenticity is a good choice.
Image Kodai Ikemitsu
A helpful technique for addressing the unconscious use of the smartphone and these platforms are trading minutes throughout the day for being present in the physical and do not surrender to it in the AM. The AM is your sacred time. Personally, using it is a purposeful way in my daily life does not affect my social life negatively, I do not feel scarce and it is liberating to live a life that deviates from uncontrollable virtual consumption. Taking ownership of the conscious far more appealing than being an unconscious, inauthentic, addicted consumer.