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Social Media Dependency Essay

1546 words - 7 pages

Social media has always been a great outlet for meeting new people, and expressing one’s own opinion, but students have taken this opportunity too far. Social networking sites are websites created to keep one in touch with friends, and family. They allow students to post statuses, check in at locations, and post pictures. Students can make their own profile special to them by identifying their interests, and personalizing other features. Social media addiction can come in many different shapes and forms. By filling a lonely void in a student’s heart, and providing a feeling of comfort, social media leads students to becoming too dependent on it.
Dopamine the same chemical released in the brain during sex, consuming drugs, and consuming food, is also released when receiving and answering a notification from social media. As Franceshi-Bicchierai shares with us, "As it turns out, receiving and answering a notification results in a hit of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter associated with the motivation and reward response in the human brain." ("How Is Facebook Addiction Affecting Our Minds?"). While consuming drugs, each pill recharges a person’s addictive impulse, and the same happens with each notification, each time a student recharges their addictive impulse.
Researchers at Harvard preformed a study to see what self-disclosure did to the brain. They found sharing a personal experience or a person's own thoughts releases dopamine, which is what social media, is all about (Hawley). When thousands of students wake up in the morning before school, and tweet about how they do not want to go to school, post on Facebook about how late they went to bed, or Instagram the waffle their eating for breakfast, they all have one thing common; they are receiving brain candy, better known as dopamine.
Since the internet provides students with immediate access to all information, one becomes hooked on a 'dopamine induced loop' (Mackay). Dopamine triggers a seeking behavior in the brain. In social media, this is caused by a person refreshing their timeline, watching their likes, checking for mentions on Twitter, or scrolling through their Facebook feed. Dopamine continues student’s dependency by leaving them constantly searching for more information. Jill Laster has shared, "One student wrote that texting and sending instant messages gives him or her 'a constant feeling of comfort,' without which he or she felt 'quite alone and secluded from my life,'" ("Students Denied Social Media Go through Withdrawal”).
Social media brings comfort to students like pacifiers bring comfort to babies. A recent study performed by the University of Maryland has shown students are hooked on social media similarly to a meth addict being addicted to meth. Two hundred students had to remove all social media from their life for one whole day, and then were asked to blog their experience. Many students said they felt drug related withdrawal symptoms such as, anxiety,...

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