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Why Social Media Is So Addicting

Ganga Prasanth, Staff Writer

Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. What do they all have in common? All are forms of social media used commonly among teens, to the point where stopping seems impossible. Over 41% of cellphone users say that they feel they are “addicted” to their phones—  the other 51% isn’t willing to admit it.

Let’s take a look at a few more percentages. Social media accounts for 28% of all time spent online. 15 to 19-year- olds spend at least three hours per day using different social media platforms. 18% of social media users check Facebook every four hours, and 28% of iPhone users check their Twitter feed before they can even get out of bed.

One main reason is because teens love “self-referencing”, or thinking about oneself. Who doesn’t like secretly being a narcissist? This is healthy for you, and is good for social competitiveness. Humans devote 30% to 40% of all speech to talking about themselves, but this increases to 80% when on social media.  

Another reason is because of the information collected from different social media. Teens like to be one step ahead of the game. It’s important for them to know and understand the various news coming from the world, varying from school events, relationships, memes, and celebrity lives, global news, and people’s reactions to it. It also makes talking easier in a social setting, especially with someone who’s already familiar with the same topic.

However, keep in mind that as fun as social media is, it can still be dangerous for teens, mainly for the prefrontal cortex, the area in the brain controlling decision-making and social interactions. Social media does not promote growth of this. Social media does not allow people to interact in person, making them more awkward in actual social situations. The “feed” of a media platform will give you interesting information, but most likely won’t give any viable sources. All in all, passive social networking can result in loss of creativity.

Next time your hand goes for your phone, try to stop it. As fun as scrolling through your feed can be, in the end, it isn’t worth spending time on. Try doing something more productive for a change! But for now, at least you know the positives and negatives of having social media join you in life.

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Why Social Media Is So Addicting