The internet is undoubtedly one of mankind’s greatest creations, enabling us to forge new friendships while simultaneously bolstering old ones, discovering nuggets of information we never knew we needed, enjoying the occasional laugh as we stumble across a particularly witty remark or snide comment on a post.
But it is also the perfect place to breed envy and resentment; envy for other people’s seemingly perfect lives, their material possessions, their oh-so-fun activities, their plethora of followers with hundreds of likes on every single post. It’s the perfect place for you to feel worse about yourself.
Craving the Virtual Drug
From Facebook newsfeed to the marketplace, enthusiast groups to games like candy crush, the interface is built and designed to lure you into a cycle of addiction with more and more ‘fun’ activities to do, things to discover, topics to discuss, posts, and photos to like and share for a virtually unlimited dopamine rush.
You Don’t Need Social Media, It Needs You
Did you know about the secret relationship that exists between social media and gambling casinos? They are both designed to exploit human psychological cravings and provide menial rewards and a ‘high’ similar that of cocaine to keep you coming back for more, even when you know it's bad for you.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram employ methods inspired by the gambling industry to increase the user dependency on their application, with interfaces designed to invoke addiction similar to the layout of a casino where the intricate placement of slot machines, roulette tables, and blackjack is key to enticing visitors to stay longer than they originally intended to.
The Best Place to Feel Worse
Social media has the power to negatively impact your mental health in more ways than one; according to two separate studies from the University of Pittsburgh, excessive use of social media amongst young adults and adults leads to sleep apnea, depression, negative psychological symptoms, and a negative body image.
Just taking a break, albeit a tiny one, from the plethora of social media applications on your phone might just do wonders for your personal life; you might suddenly find ample time to enjoy books, appreciate great music, enjoy long walks in your neighborhood park and spend quality time with your friends and loved ones.
Taking a step back from social media might be your first step towards the realization that you no longer depend upon others’ validation to feel good about yourself, you no longer yearn for virtual attention and engagement. Step back a bit more and you might just see social media for what it actually is; a façade, a place to share things for others to see.