WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS ADDICTIVE
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS ADDICTIVE

WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS ADDICTIVE?

Social Media FOR You:

All social media platforms are similar in these aspects:

  1. They allow you to virtually showcase your small, big or scheduled accomplishments.
  2. They give you an illusion of being socially connected within your surroundings of your chosen once by keeping you informed about them and vice versa.
  3. They make you feel your existence by giving you responses on your activities.
  4. Most of them provide you uncensored, sensational information which looks more authentic and exciting.
  5. They occupy your attention by showing you videos of unbelievable or highly emotional content.

You want to be connected socially and communicate with others on a continuous basis. It not just entertains your mind but also fulfills one of your deepest psychological needs, that is: “to feel secure and existent”.

PSYCHOLOGY OF BEING CONNECTED IN THE REAL WORLD:

Did you ever realize what do you read the most in real world?

Its human faces.

You keep reading faces everyday – knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly. The human race from its evolutionary past, has been interacting by looking at each other. When you look at a person you can gage him in terms of his mood and emotional status by his gestures, facial expressions and body language.

This ability has taken several thousand years to develop in you and its hard wired into your genes. Even animals are equipped with this natural strength, your dog can easily read your face and then changes its behavior according to your mood. However humans are better equipped with this strength due to even more evolved brains.

In the past, even before the homosapien walked on this planet (around 200,000 years ago), those ancestors of the modern humans were developing a language of signs and facial expressions to better understand each other. Even before the times when a proper verbal language could develop they had already become very much accustomed with the facial expressions and sign language.

You have an innate ability to read faces and you are born with it. By far even a six months old child can read your face and measure your state of mind. You can make a child smile or cry just by making faces in front of him. You are instrumental in assessing any reason for fear or pleasure around you by reading faces of people and thus you have a dire need to look at faces to feel secure and comfortable.

HOW DOES READING FACES MAKE YOU FEEL SAFE & SECURE?

Let me give you an example:

Imagine you are passing by a lonely street where there is nobody around you and suddenly you realize that somebody is walking behind you. For some time it will be tolerable but then you would tend to look back and see his face. You can’t resist it for even few more seconds after a while and you become anxious. Once you look back and if you find, it was a child, you suddenly lose all your anxiety and feel relaxed. But if you find somebody with an angry face, your heartbeats increase immediately. It can become a fight or flight situation for you. You would try anything to get out of that situation.

You can see how sensitive you are for humans in your surroundings till the time you don’t know them or you don’t read their faces up to your satisfaction and measure their mental state.

Moreover you can’t remain unaffected after looking a face with any extreme emotional state of mind. A sad face can bring a mood swing for you and you also lose some amount of your happiness. Similarly an enthusiastic person with high level of energy can turbo charge your mood insistently.

You can clearly see that all this can happen only when you ‘face the person’, ‘listen to his voice’, ‘observe his movements’ etc.

Now the question is: Can you feel a person in the same way, whom you connect through social media?

Do you remember when your close friend or relative or member of family, spouse or your child was away from you for a long time, about 3 months or even more than that. What happened when you meet him/her again after that long period? Suddenly without any efforts that smile appeared on your face and a happiness spread over you. This was unstoppable and there were no words required. It happened only by looking at the face of that person.

This is how you are.

Imagine you are left alone on a distant planet where you are the only human, what would make you smile there, other than your memories? Those memories would also not last long to keep you happy. You would be starving to see other humans.

Now suppose you are equipped with a smart device there through which you can chat and make video calls to people on earth but there is no way that you can come back to earth . Now that device would become your key to happiness on that lonely planet, because you can see human faces, can here them, feel them through it. It will become your life. You would try to remain continuously connected to people and would never stop that device.

How social media is taking over:

Now think what would happen if that kind of loneliness can be created on our planet for you?

In fact for most of the people, it has become a reality, people are lonely deep inside because that human touch is missing everywhere.

When you meet people, you find fake smiles, fake concerns for you and formal behaviors all around you. And all humans are equipped to read those fake gestures because its a deep rooted ability of all humans. We have developed this ability in a very long time during our evolutionary past. You can smell such fake concerns of people around you from a distance.

Now because you hardly find a genuine smile, a genuine concern around you and your most of the relationships are hollow inside, your deep desire to connect with people remains unfulfilled. To fulfill this desire you start finding different avenues through other channels.

Today social media is providing you that channel, where you have thousands of people to connect with, see them, watch them expressing their thoughts. Visuals of people with different gestures, in different places. Even if you don’t like most of it, still you can’t stop liking to spend time on these Social Media platforms. In fact its becoming more and more unstoppable and it has become addictive for most of the people. The more you spend time on these channels the more it show the emptiness of your real-world-relationships.

All addictions have one common quality: it can keep you away from your normal state of mind, disconnects you from reality and creates an illusion of pleasure which you want to experience again and again. 

Imagine you live in a place where you have 300 friends (which is a very common number of friends/followers on social media), not on social media but in reality. Each one of them somehow takes out time to come and meet you at least once in a week and you also have time for them. Imagine your occupation allows yo to spare ample time for your social needs. You spend time with them, laugh with them, play with them, go for long walk, eat with them, travel to places with them, visit their homes and meet their families, have discussions with them. You would have very close circle of at least 1000 people around you who will keep you occupied and will keep fulfilling your social needs completely.

Now the question is: Would you still need these social media platforms for you?

Humans have made the machines and devices for humans. These devices can create an illusion of reality but can’t create a reality. It can create an illusion of life but it can’t become alive, as life is immortal and is beyond all physical boundaries.

Social media may be good in terms of providing you information sometimes, but its authenticity will still be questionable. You don’t need social media to connect with people, its only required to fill that gap which you have created by closing your social circle and limiting yourself. Social media is just creating a beautiful illusion of being connected with people, but in reality you are becoming more and more lonely. You are missing all the opportunities to connect with people in reality. Social media is just a substitute of a real world for you which is fake and fragile. Its lifeless and would not satisfy your dire need to connect with people.

All illusions are bound to be broken one day. 

So come out of this illusory world and connect with people in the real world for your real social life. Your social success lies in your relations with people which are based on your human interactions with them.

REMEMBER Five ways to be really connected WITH PEOPLE: 
  1. Give a genuine look: Look at people with compassion and a healthy smile. Even when you see strangers, a smile can do wonders. Ability to smile is developed only in humans, and it connects you with people instantly without any words.
  2. Talk to people: have a genuine smile and a true concern. Remember you are interacting with real humans. When you ask people “How are you?”, be prepared to listen to their stories also with patience, don’t just formally ask people and then get completely disconnected, every human can feel that disconnect immediately and a fake relationship start building up.
  3. Don’t act and be real: you are not the smartest person on earth, all humans can differentiate between an acting and a genuine behavior. May be they don’t show you that in front of you, but they will carry it as a hard coded impression of your personality on their minds forever.
  4. Don’t be sarcastic: Sarcasm can kill all your relationships, no human is dumb enough that he can’t understand your real intention behind. Be realistic and remember relationships are more valuable than your intellectual jokes.
  5. Spare time for others: If you can spare time to spend with others they will also do the same with you and that’s the basic building block of any relationship.

 

Power of Social Media & YOUR RESPONSIBILITY –

Social media is the most powerful tool in terms of its reach, humans could never imagine such a wide range of access to the world of information before. You can speak to people in far flung spaces of the planet, where you would probably never even think about going to. You can read real good content that can empower you with knowledge. But you have to find what is good and what is not so good for you. Great power comes with great responsibility and you have to use it with your consciousness.

Wish you all the best .. !!

Akhil Mantra

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4 Comments

  • Very apt and precise content . I would say that each and every one seek privacy from their parents and can’t even tolerate their interference in their life but ironically they post each moment of their life on social media such as “feeling blessed” , “feeling exited” , and wait for like and comments of unknown people or people who don’t have negligible relevance in our life . Using social media rightly for a cause can help .

  • Arindam Chakraborry says:

    Woww it was worthy insight

  • Its good n deep dive on social media n its impact..

    We always think social media is good n giving information but fact is thst some time we r gettong wrong fact n data but still feeling happy n trying to justify our happiness.

  • Jyoti Goyal says:

    Lovely insight Akhilmantra… Yes social media has made us addicted to it and u have beautifully reasoned it out .

    I also feel that apart from our craving for social connection and being in our fantasy land of belief that we have Soo many friends n all , our curiosity to know about what’s happening in others life (“panchayati attitude ” in laymen ‘s language ) is also responsible for this addiction. We are Soo interested in other’s business that we forget to mind our own …

    Nevertheless , kudos to u … Once again u have amazed me by your thought process and the way the article is written is commendable .

    Congratulations and all the best …

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