Endless Information and the New Digital Addictions
While we have so many people that are truly suffering medically from difficult addictions to opiates and narcotics that ravage the body in a visceral, physical way, it may seem silly to consider that one could be dangerously addicted to video games or Facebook. These addictions may not send you into catalytic convulsions or put you into a coma from overdose but the effects are still a health concern, nonetheless.
Several studies are being conducted to determine how real a social media addiction really is or what effects video game binging may have on long term health. We won’t know much until real data can be analyzed and synthesized into treatment programs but in the meantime we must be highly aware of what we’re streaming into our brains.
Just as a substance addict must be cautious of what goes into the body, someone who spend a lot of time connected to a digital device has to be aware of the massive amounts of data being pumped into the brain as you scroll through endless feeds of data and information.
The brain craves stimulus and input, that’s how it develops and grows in complexity. It can handle a lot, that’s for sure, the brain is a super-powered organ that has resulted in our success as a species. It can, however, develop its own addictions that we don’t even notice. Staring endlessly into a glowing device forces you to shut down certain areas of the brain and thinking. It also means you’re fairly sedentary and don’t get the muscle movement and blood flow you need.
One of the dangers of social media feeds are the supply. You never ever run out of data to put into your brain. It will scroll on endlessly and you’ll never run out. Your brain, however, may tire and run out of the proper chemicals to function at optimal performance. Keep in mind that social media stimulates a great many parts of your brain and that level of stimulation can become addictive, forming habits and patterns that cut you off from necessary life functions like physical interaction and abstract processing.
Until the results are clear, it’s important to pay attention to what you put into your brain. Filing it with mindless garbage and negative gossip doesn’t create a healthy mind. Try and fill it with sunshine and laughter too.