How many times a class do you check your instagram/twitter/facebook? Five or ten times? Once every five minutes? Why do you think that is? Recently I have found myself in class (not SC 200 of course) going to check my phone when I really did not need to, considering I had just checked it five minutes prior. Its not that I was bored or disinterested, it just felt like something I needed to do. This peaked my interest after awhile. Can social media be addicting?
Now I would like to not consider myself genuinely addicted to Instagram or Facebook but it seemed like a interesting idea when you take a second to look around the Hub and the majority of people are obviously posting Snapchats or showing their friends and Instagram post.
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is real and, according to the National Institute of health, can actually cause deep psychological issues. Although not officially recognized as a psychiatric disorder, IAD is being researched and a sub-category under it is social-media addiction specifically. Columbian University psychiatric and neuroscience researcher Sean Luo, reported that around 3.7-13% of U.S. Internet users are way to involved in Internet usage. Further studies have even show brain abnormalities that mimic those found in substance abusers.
Another aspect of social media addiction is the idea that “getting likes” on a post can stimulate the reward segments of the brain. However, there has yet to be a proven correlation between narcissism and social media.
As students we know that checking our phone in class leads to distraction and the high risk for you to miss something important in class. However, when we step back and compare your phone to a cigarette, we face a new perspective. As we learned in class. Smoking spiked in 1900 and lung cancer spiked twenty years later. Because the affect of smoking on the lungs was so delayed, it took scientists a long time to determine how dangerous cigarettes are. Constant phone attention has spiked in the early 2000’s, so what could spike twenty years from now? What could be detrimental long-term affects that we will experience in twenty years, but won’t be able to solve for forty years?