How do social networks affect our psyche and behavior?

In 1971, the first electronic letter was received. Since then, for 40 years, social networks literally stormed the world.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are now used by one in four people on the planet. This increase in its entirety appears to be a harmless phenomenon, but some scientists believe that social networks can affect our mental health and our perception of the world.

In 2012, a study was published in which scientists found that using the social network Facebook can become a source of internal anxiety and increase a person’s sense of inferiority.

A recent study led by social psychiatrist Ethan Cross from Michigan State Medical University, USA, showed that using the social network Facebook can even reduce the feeling of happiness.

Dr. Cross points out that on the face of it, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for satisfying a basic human need – his need to make social contacts with other people. But in the course of the research, it was found that instead of improving a person’s perception of the world, the opposite result is often observed when using Facebook.

But aren’t such claims exaggerated? Or is it really necessary for scientists to start warning about the health dangers of the use of social networks, as well as the need to limit them.

What exactly are social networks?

In reality, social networks are a collection of several websites that provide an opportunity for people around the world to communicate, exchange text messages, photos, video and audio recordings.

Facebook is the largest social network in the world, as it has more than 1.2 billion monthly active users.
For example, the average American spends an average of 7.6 hours per month on this very social network.

Recent statistics show that around 42% of adults use multiple social networking sites at the same time.

Perhaps, it is not surprising that the majority of social network users are young people under the age of 30. However, the number of older users is also constantly increasing.

What makes social networks so attractive to us?

Of course, one of the main advantages of social networks has been and remains the ability to communicate regardless of distance.

Are most people addicted to social networks?

Recent statistics show that 63% of American Facebook users log on to the site daily, and 40% of them several times a day.

The main purpose that most of these people pursue with this action is entertainment. Very quickly these people develop a system of conditioned reflexes that strengthen psychological dependence.

Those who post new statuses receive constant positive support in the form of likes and comments under the status itself. Of course, if such a habit becomes established over the years, it is not so easy to give up.

The psychological phenomenon of Facebook addiction is so widespread that a special scale of addiction to this social network was even developed, which is called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.

It was developed by Dr. Cecilie Andraessen and her colleagues at the Medical University of Bergen, Norway. The scale uses 6 criteria to measure the degree of psychological dependence on Facebook.

Among them are: Do you spend a lot of time planning how to spend your time on social media, etc.

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