I came across a video on YouTube from the channel AsapSCIENCE called, ‘5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now‘. The video looks at the scientific side of social media and internet society, and how it affects our brain. In the video they compare internet usage to addiction, though highlight that it is a psychological addiction as opposed to a substance addiction, but the cognitive impairments as a result of each are actually incredibly similar. Both social media and drugs give you an immediate high without very much effort, and ‘you begin to crave more of this neurological stimulation after each interaction’. The amount of time spent on the internet has actually resulted in several new mental disorders and syndromes such as Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) and Phantom Vibration Syndrome which the video creators describe as a new ‘psychological phenomenon’. Phantom Vibration Syndrome is when you think you felt your phone vibrate but it didn’t, and it’s something that most of us have experienced. Why? Because technology is actually beginning to rewire our nervous system (scientifically proven). You can read more about the syndrome in undergraduates (like us!) here.
I don’t think many of us really consider the impact that technology has on us or our brains, I know I certainly don’t. How many hours do we all spend on the internet a day? Has everyone experienced Phantom Vibration Syndrome, or perhaps found that they are easily distracted because of what they might be missing online?
*The description box of the video has links to scientific journals and research about each of the ‘5 Crazy Ways’ discussed in the video. Really interesting reads!