People spend a lot of time on social media. Some to chat, some to watch videos, others just to get attention. It doesn’t matter what you do, it impacts your life, just like anything else.
A recent study in fact analysed the problem seriously and reached the conclusion that social media addiction is similar to the usage of hard drugs. And for a very specific reason: they create a dopamine loop in our brain, which provokes addiction. This is why Facebook, Instagram are so addictive for most people – in particular women.
The study findings revealed that when not allowed to check their texts or emails, or connect to digital technology in any way, participants developed withdrawal symptoms typically seen in people addicted to cigarettes or other substances. Many study participants said they felt like they were trying to kick a hard drug habit or going on a strict diet.
When a person uses the stimulant cocaine, it affects the central nervous system, including the brain. It stimulates neurotransmitter receptors in the brain’s reward center with a huge surge of dopamine — an organic feel-good chemical, or neurotransmitter. This release of dopamine is much more abundant than normal, giving the user a rapid rush of energy and sensation of pleasure that radiates through their nervous system. This rewarding pleasure leads them to desire more cocaine so they can sustain or repeat the sensation. The desire for more can lead to addiction in a relatively short time.
In a similar way, smartphones and other technological devices can become addictive because they activate this same neurological reflex: Whenever a person receives a timely response to a text or an Instagram post, they feel a surge of pleasure and reward — the neurotransmitter receptors in the brain’s reward center release dopamine and make them feel good. If they repeat this behavior — compulsively posting messages or sending texts and receiving the “reward” of instant responses — their dopamine levels rise even higher and their brains send the message that this is a good activity. They don’t want to stop, or find it increasingly difficult to tear themselves away from their digital world.
So yes, social media are extremely destructive. But what no-one did is to link this dopamine cycle with its actual consequences or potential use.
In fact, dopamine is also an excellent catalyst for learning and programming behaviours. This cycle is used to train dogs, but also human without them knowing it. The reward seeking loop strengthens rewarding behaviours and sanctions non complying ones. For instance, you can reward people on their belief (likes on liberal ideas) and punish them on others (dislikes on conservative content). The study summarises:
Dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain are the main source of dopamine (DA) in the brain. DA has been shown to be involved in the control of movements, the signaling of error in prediction of reward, motivation, and cognition. Cerebral DA depletion is the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Other pathological states have also been associated with DA dysfunction, such as schizophrenia, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, as well as drug abuse. DA is closely associated with reward-seeking behaviors, such as approach, consumption, and addiction. Recent researches suggest that the firing of DA neurons is a motivational substance as a consequence of reward-anticipation. This hypothesis is based on the evidence that, when a reward is greater than expected, tthemhe firing of certain DA neurons increases, which consequently increases desire or motivation towards the reward.
Add to this the natural neural learning process which is based on message repetition: repeat the same thing all the time, and for your brain, it becomes the truth. You don’t have to be a genius to understand what an addictive platform based on dopamine can do for influencing your political views, but also your behaviour. Hence the repetition of the following political messages:
- Women are only free if they work, divorce and travel
- Single mom is better than a good wife
- Being a bad mom is OK
- Men are only good if they give their money to women, travel, party and cumulate women
- Appearance matter more than content
- LGBT and minorities are good
- Muslims are good, the first victims from terrorism
- Anti-Semitism is the biggest threat to humanity
- Christians are oppressors and pedophiles
- White men are oppressors
- Multiculturalism and race mixing are very cool and the way to go
- Conservative people are extremists, intolerant and dangerous terrorists
All these messages have as common root “freedom through the appeasing of one’s individual pulsions and feelings”. A feminized society in short, where freedom is the absence of choice and the slavery to one’s desire. What a freedom, indeed. What a logic, indeed.
But to the extreme, these messages become radical truth for people and derive in very real terrorism, namely Antifa, BLM and hardcore Femen. They also derive in total paranoia, for instance the TV show “handmaid’s tale“.
Extract from thinking fast and slow, Daniel Kahneman:
Our brain assesses norms on the basis of its neural programming. At neuronal level absolute truth makes no sense, hence the commonly accepted saying “the relative truth”. From a religious perspective, it would contradict free will. From an evolution perspective, we could not adapt without the possibility of programming our brain.
Yet, of course, the world has its very real truth which is there and obvious. And our shitlib society inverted the truth thanks to its abundance of resources.
For example, a wife can cheat on her husband and get away with it. In nature, the truth is that a lonely female has no chance to survive. Here, in a modern society, she can. But not for long, and not happily. The disconnection between the feminist discourse and reality generates high intensity unconscious cognitive dissonance. This practically results in hysteric disorders, anxiety, bipolarity and/or depression, addiction. Same goes for men. To assert my explanation, I attach here some statistics per gender:
As you see, our society is mentally sick. Someone who never took drugs nor alcohol and is mentally healthy is today rather rare. And these social media are for something into this, by unconsciously – or willingly – rewarding destructive behaviors before all. At least that is what we can observe, but also what Cuckenberg is accused of doing.