THEBESTMIND
Published on March 19, 2020

How Social Media Can Destroy Your Brain

Today, most people use digital devices regularly to connect on social networks. Our daily routine is really influenced by the posts that people write on their pages or by the pictures they took in during their travels. There are some who say that social media isn't evil. That's not true, we need to open our eyes and realize that. The lives people share on social media don't reflect the reality they live in and it can influence our own lives. Hello everyone and welcome to thebestmind.net. In this article, we're going to learn about how social media is influencing our lives and destroying our brains.

Editing our lives

Life is full of interesting moments. You can’t forget your favorite travels on holiday with your family and friends or the biggest moments in your career. Many people want to remember these lovely moments forever. So, they take photos, they make videos and they keep souvenirs.

The problem here is, when you start posting these reminders on social media, something strange happens. You start to tamper with the look or feel of your experiences, because you want others to see how perfect and powerful your life is.

Many people on social media are so focused on displaying perfection that their real life gets lost in the mix. The person on their profile may resemble an idealized version of themselves. They've changed their whole life just to impress a lot of people on the social media.

If you look at a sunset, you might focus on taking the perfect picture brightening the colors or creating the right mood instead of actually enjoying the sunset. In real time, you pay less and less attention to the powerful moments as they happen and you stop appreciating experiences for what they are. Each one just feels like another opportunity to brag on social media.

Dependence on reinforcement

Views, likes and comments are all different kinds of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when someone gives you a reward for doing something good. Imagine a parent who gives their kid ice cream for behaving at the doctor. They're reinforcing their child's good behavior with a positive reward, hence the name positive reinforcement.

On social media virtual compliments are no different than someone handing you an ice cream. Each one makes you feel good about yourself. It tells you that someone in the world likes you, admires you or even envies you. It gives you a boost of self-worth, which motivates you to keep going. You might feel special after posting a picture online. So, you post another and then another until you're posting on social media every single day. Like that, you've become dependent on positive reinforcement. You started relying on these platforms to make you feel good and that can be dangerous.

If you don't practice appreciating yourself, it gets harder and harder to do it on your own. You forget how to value yourself. So, don't let social media take that away from you. The occasional boost never hurt anybody, but if you're fishing for compliments online, it can really mess with your brain.

Wasting our time

Social media is a notorious time waster without even realizing it. You might spend hours every single day browsing through different platforms. Some people stay awake in their bed scrolling page after page until 2 a.m. Others go on social media in small intervals. They spend only five minutes at a time on their phone, but they do this every single hour of the day.

It seems like they're barely ever on social media, but those five minute increments really add up. By the evening time, you've spent an hour or more of your time, which you could have used for hobbies or with your family.

Time is an area where social media is becoming particularly destructive. They disturb the way you think, they distract you with all these button images and videos and your brain loses track of time.

The motivation killer

Social media and motivation are natural enemies. In fact, social media is one of the most common ways that people procrastinate. When you're feeling stressed or insecure, social media offers you the chance to get lost in other people's lives. They leave behind the stress of your own, but there are plenty of other time wasters that do the same thing.

Take watching TV or playing video games, both of these activities distract your mind from whatever it's supposed to be doing, but social media hurts your motivation in a way that no other bad habit does. It destroys your productivity and your self-esteem. Each time you browse through social media, you see people doing amazing things. Maybe they're traveling the world or chasing their dreams.

Now, on the surface, these kinds of profiles seem inspiring, but deep down, they make you feel worse about yourself, not satisfied with the life you're living and that makes you lazy. So, do yourself a favor, stop connecting on social media so this bad habit doesn't ruin your motivation.

Blocking our happiness

The social media affect your mood. Most social media seems like a way to pass the time, but it’s not true. Social media can actually stop you from being happy. A 2013 study discovered that avid Facebook users feel less satisfied and not just with their jobs or social circles, but with their lives in general.

People who frequently used social media we're lonelier had lower self-esteem and they felt less supported. Now, on the other hand people who rarely used their accounts were more fulfilled and confident, but it's not just Facebook.

Another study from 2017 published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine tested this on 11 different media platforms. They tried everything and collected data from career oriented platforms, but no matter where they looked, the results were always the same.

Social media had a negative effect on people's happiness and avid users had higher perceived isolation.

The cycle of jealousy

Every time you connect to your account, you participate in a jealous cycle. The cycle of jealousy starts when you browse through the profile of someone you admire. Now, in your eyes, they're doing something amazing and you respect or you envy them for it.

So, you're trying to make your account as amazing as possible, but it just means someone else is going to look at your photos and think: ''wow, I wish I was doing that.'' People are going to carry that feeling into their own virtual lives and just like that a chain of jealousy can span across dozens or even hundreds of people.

So, how does that jealousy impact your brain? Suddenly, you're not thinking about the life you want. You're not living for you anymore. You're living to make other people jealous. You only feel satisfied when people envy you and you get bitter when they don't. My point is social media pulls you into this vicious cycle. If you're not careful, you'll lose sight of what really matters.

Forecasting errors

Most of the people make a basic cognitive mistake. Every time they connect to social networks, they expect them to have the positive impact on their lives. They expected to be fun, helpful and satisfying them, but it rarely ever is.

When you expect to feel one thing and then end up feeling another, you're making something called: a forecasting error. In this case, your forecast said: you're gonna have fun, but reality had something different in store.

Forecasting errors are incredibly common in combination with bad habits. You convince yourself this time is going to be different and then end up regretting your decision. Doing this once or twice as natural, but what happens if you make the same forecasting errors over and over again?

Not surprisingly, it's gonna make you feel worse and it'll take its toll on your self-discipline. So, be realistic with yourself, because something seems like a good idea in the moment, it doesn't mean it actually is.

Rifts in our relationships

Social media impacts more than just your thoughts and your move it also damages your relationships. It pulls you away from your friends, it creates a whole bunch of unnecessary tension and it weakens the bond that the two of you share okay.

Just imagine you're grabbing lunch with your friend, you're excited to see them and tell them what's been going on in your life, but they spend the whole time taking pictures of their food and updating their story. They smile when other people like their post, but they're barely paying attention to you.

Now, wouldn't that drive a wedge in your relationship? This happens all the time for people who overuse social media. Their friends feel neglected and social media changes their priorities they start to value virtual connections more than real ones and before they know it, their actual friends start to fade away.

Thank you for reading this article and be sure to consult our website to stay informed about our coming articles, because more incredible content is on the way.

Get our Wellness Wire newsletter
Nurture Yourself With Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset.
feedback
2019-2020 The Best Mind. All rights reserved. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. The Best Mind website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram