As an internet user, if you spend half of your day checking on different social media apps, you are no exception. From a general survey, on average, almost 3 to 4 hours people spend on various social media apps.
There are different social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And their key motive is to connect people, friends, a family of different age group communities, gender, and the list goes on.
No, You’re Not Addicted To Social Media
It’s a great key for acquiring information, news, what’s going all over the world, a platform where you can easily present your thoughts and also grow your business, hobbies, and many more. But why is using social media or spending so much time called an addiction? It’s because overusing these social media will lead to severe problems like psychological conditions, health problems.
When we post, share any content on social media, our brain is likely to release dopamine. This is the same neurotransmitter that is released when one takes any addictive drug, which results in a sense of pleasure and positive vibes by sharing any relatable content. Whenever you receive any notification related to any social apps, your brain releases the same dopamine, which increases your usage of social media.
During the global pandemic, when the whole public of every age group has to sit at home, it leads to an increase in internet usage, and eventually, social media usage is also increased. Many users even posted ‘social media detox’, which means they want to stop using their social media handle for some time because they feel addicted.
As the researchers who are associated with this field have assessed whether social media involvement may result in addictive behavior. The key aspect came forward from the people who use a lot – attentional bias.
Attentional bias means how a person’s ideology or perception is affected by selective factors. The behaviour of addiction in both chemicals and other substances like drugs and poker etc. has depicted the same symptoms. Those who are addicted to drugs will likely have their attention towards cigarettes and drugs.
To get more clarity, a student from the University of Strathclyde, Kate Thomson, researched the attentional bias that was more evident in Social media. With 100 participants, they presented a mock display of the iPhone and asked to detect an app that is Siri or camera very quickly and accurately as they could and try to ignore other apps in the display.
In some trials, the distracter apps were not any of the social media apps, and in some, the main idea behind this experiment is to find out whether the user who was in their greatest level of use and engaged a lot in social media with the users who were using social media on an average level.
However, the results are still abstract, and it doesn’t support the key factor of addictive behavior; for example, those who are completely active on Instagram posting, regularly sharing, using 10 times a day are more likely to capture the attention of the ‘distractor app’ Instagram than those who merely check up on their feeds once in a day or week. Spending a lot of time on social media may be harmful; it depends on how you use it for.