Addiction

Clara Hernandez-Figueroa

My name is Clara Hernandez and I am an addict. Addicted to what you may ask? Before I answer, I have a better question: are you an addict? Addiction is a very broad term usually associated with drugs, food or alcohol. In reality we are all addicts. Addicts to the social networking systems. Not a system that is there to benefit us but instead a system that benefits from us.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning and what’s the last thing you do  before bed? Check your phone. We are constantly checking our phones. Unknowingly we seek that dopamine rush, that is why we always come back. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that gets released every time you do something pleasurable.

It is not a coincidence, that is the point. The makers of the platforms we use on our phones or electronic devices know that. That is why they made them and are constantly finding ways to improve their platforms. They know we are going to come back, they profit every single time we come back. 

“If you are not buying it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold,” said in Netflix Documentary The Social Dilemma. The documentary brings light to the dangers of social media. All of the social networking apps that claim to be free aren’t really free in reality. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and all platforms of the sort make tons of money off of us. We the customers are being sold to big advertisers. They track all of your activity in order to get the best ad on your screen. 

According to a study done in 2018, 25% of adolescents believe that social media has a mostly negative effect. Research shows that the increase in social media use does play a role in mental health. There is a correlation between how long and how many social media platforms you use connected with symptoms of depression and anxiety. The platform makers know all of this information, yet they still try to get as many people hooked as possible. The reason why is because the more addicted we are the more money they make. 

We are making multi millionaires, more millions. They know you more than you know yourself. They have rooms filled with algorithms and information on us. They know when you have good days and bad days, when you’re happy and when you’re sad. In those low moments is when they profit the most. They know if you’re down you will spend more time on their app distracting yourself.

I don’t expect you to change, I’m not asking you to change. I’m just here to inform you. Ignorance is bliss but it’s time to wake up. The choice is yours. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Pantic, I. (2014, October). Online social networking and mental health. Retrieved October 11, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/

Mir, Novas, Seymour, E. (2020, August 21). Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health. Retrieved October 11, 2020, from https://www.center4research.org/social-media-affects-mental-health/

Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma