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  • Natalie M. Duverne

Down the Social Media Rabbit Hole: An Addiction We Can't Ignore

By Natalie M. Duverne, ROSES Ambassador

In today's digital age, it's incredibly easy to fall into the abyss that is social media. From personal experience, I've found myself mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram and Twitter feeds in the middle of class or important events. Social media addiction is an issue that possibly many of us face. While social media does have their merits in terms of providing information and education, they also come with significant downsides. The constant access to social media can distract us from in-person communication and real-life experiences. Furthermore, the spread of misinformation on these platforms poses a serious threat to our society. According to Ofir Turel Ph.D., an associate professor of information systems and decision sciences at the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton we create a reward system in our brains and this reward system is prevalent in those with a social media addiction. He goes on to state that “ media provides rewarding experiences that generate dopamine in the brain, the same substance produced when we eat cake or have sex. Over time, it trains your brain to want to check social media more and more often." One of the most concerning aspects of social media addiction is the lack of awareness surrounding it. The media, which is deeply entwined with social media, rarely pushes for awareness on social media addiction. If anything, it encourages users to increase their screen usage and not “miss out” on content. This approach appeals to users’ FOMO also known as the “feeling of missing out.” So, do we have enough resources to handle and solve this issue? Yes and no. There are solutions for battling a social media addiction, but they aren't always practical. Limiting time spent on certain apps, spending more quality time with loved ones, developing hobbies, and overall reducing phone usage are typical recommendations to tackle this issue. However, it's easier said than done. In summary, social media addiction is a real problem that deserves more attention and awareness. While these platforms can serve as sources of information and education, they also come with significant drawbacks. It's crucial to recognize the dangers of excessive social media use and work toward finding practical solutions to address this modern-day dilemma.

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