Tuesday, 21 June 2016

How Social Media networks are impacting on Teenagers feelings and brains

Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

Social media has had an incredibly rise in popularity over the years. Today, there are very few people who don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Social media does not only have an effect on how you perceive yourself but it actually has an effect on your brain. In this post, I will be looking at the effect of social media on the brains of teenagers when they write and publish content on these networks and what happens when they get a good reception.

A lot of people share content on social media these days. Whether it is something related to entertainment or sports, everybody wants to share something on their newsfeed. Everybody has a different reason for sharing content but the prime purpose is to connect with others.  However, sharing content has a trickle down effect. It is not just about sharing content on social media and being done with it. In fact, studies reveal that sharing content on social media has an automatic effect on the person’s brain.

Direct Impact On One's Ego
When we share content on social media, we get a lot of comments, likes and other words. People start asking questions in their comments and therefore, this has a direct impact on one’s ego. Moreover, people are more likely to share content on social media that they can relate to so sharing content and the type of content is clear indication and hint into your actual personality.

Improved Feelings
Moreover, whenever someone publishes something, he or she wants others to appreciate it. Therefore, when we publish things on social media and get comments on our shares, we are more likely to experience feelings of happiness, excitement and thrill.
The effect of sharing content on social media has been captured in a study by University of California. They analyzed what happens to the brain of teenagers when they publish the content in social networks and especially, when they see the reception they get. It doesn’t seem that surprising but the positive response that they get tends to have a positive effect on their brain.

Direct Impact On How We Feel
When a person gets more rewards, the study revealed that the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain that is associated with the rewards, tends to get ecstatic with pleasure and in fact has the same effect that it does when we eat a chocolate or anything that makes us happy. Publishing on social media, therefore, has a direct impact on how we feel.
The study also revealed that teenagers are more likely to react in a different way when it comes to getting likes. The reaction differs in every case but the reaction is always said to be positive.
Thus, from this study, we can easily derive that social networks are not just a place where one can come, share and go back to life. No, social media actually has bigger and greater effects on one’s thinking, life and emotions. Social media sharing, therefore, is said to bring a positive change in people and also tends to improve one’s self esteem.

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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