Today’s generation dependent upon social media
By Ashlee Schroeder
Double tap, like, retweet and share. It is as if our lives, and thumbs, revolve around these actions. It seems our generation is social media obsessed.
But why are we so drawn to it? Could it be that it is something to do since teens complain that they are bored 24/7? The satisfaction of having their thoughts and opinions heard? Being show-offish with themelves to try raise their own self esteem?
Here’s the answer: we are actually just predetermined that way, according to a study done by Harvard University Psychology Department. “Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in the brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area,” the study stated.
In other words, it is rewarding for people to know that their thoughts, feelings and opinions were shared with another person.
“I think people are obsessed with social media,” freshman Nathan Meland said. “t’s easy to operate and it’s easier to talk to people than it is in person.”
When you first ask someone if they feel rewarded whenever they casually post a status or picture of themselves they normally won’t admit to the feeling of satisfaction they receive. It is more of a subconscious feeling, but many other times it is intentional. Just think, how many times have you checked Twitter to see a girl or guy subtweet something negative directly to their ex-boyfriend/girlfriend? Many, many times. But why, because it is really all unnecessary. In this case it would be the satisfaction of feeling like they hurt someone emotionally, someone who they used to care about, but none the less the intention is there, it’s a mind game.
One study by the University of Georgia found that people with low self-esteem get more responses from their real Facebook friends when they post highly positive updates, compared to less positive ones as opposed to when they post negative ones. It’s not always just negative emotions, sometimes social media is used to boost self-esteem. Logging onto Facebook for the first time in a year, you’ll see many statuses saying, “Like my statuses if you think I’m pretty.” Followed by a couple of likes and comments from people handing out compliments. It’s almost an awkward form of narcissism where they indirectly love themselves, but to be sure they need the approval of others.
“We’ve grown up with technology and we just take advantage of it, we suck,” senior Erica Ready said.
Social media is supposed to be fun and useful, and it’s not seeming that way. In a poll done by the University of Salford, 50 percent of participants said that the use of social media makes their lives worse. So if social media makes lives worse, why do people continue to use it? People are afraid they are missing out on something and feel the need to be a part of something.
Social media is not just a fad, it is here to stay. Remember just because you didn’t share it online, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, life’s not all about the likes.