Anyone who watched this programme will have seen the views about how Social Media is affecting us.
I have long held the belief that whilst modern technology is amazing, and has changed our lives in a positive way, I am also aware of the negative impact it can have.
Let’s not fool ourselves, marketers get us to buy their products by tapping into the Reward System in our brain.
Perhaps you are feeling a bit low, or bored and you see an advert for a new phone, it looks bright and shiny and promises to do so many new things that your current phone doesn’t do. They also let you know that there are a limited number available, you may have to pre-order, and so we get that FOMO (fear of missing out)
All you have to do is press the buttons and now you wait with anticipation, excitement rising. Oh, and if you can’t wait, by paying a small premium you can have it delivered even sooner!
It arrives and you get a real dopamine rush (the feel-good hormone). ………………………but after a few days the novelty wears off. You realise that it’s not much better than your old phone.
And so you look for the next fix, just like an addict, whether drugs, alcohol, porn, food. The thing is that just like any addiction, you find the feelings of euphoria soon wear off, and you look for the next 'fix'. But next time you need a more frequent or a bigger one, as you don’t get the same buzz as you did before.
Because the tech wizz kids know this, they keep reminding you. So just like magic you see something you searched for on Google appearing where ever you go, Instagram, Facebook, other website sites. Just in case you had forgotten, or you had become distracted.
Social Dilemma mentioned that those of us on Social Media is referred to as ‘Users’. I hadn’t viewed it in quite the same context as drug addicts, but the principle is the same and a quite scary thought. And just like the drug dealers, they are looking for new customers to sell to, so new friends are suggested to us, people we may know. You may think they are being helpful, but it's for their purposes, not ours. They are ever searching for new ways to suck us in.
Stop for a moment
How many times do you check your phone?
How many times do you check your emails?
Do you have notifications switched on so you don’t miss out?
Which search engine do you use?
I have started to reduce the number of times I check my phone, checking emails, and I've turned off all notifications.
I also changed my search engine from Google to another. Interestingly, I don't see so many adverts, there are some different responses to my questions and it's faster. Hive it go and let me know what you think.
The effect on Relationships
I have had concerns for some time that relationships are being affected by technology. So many couples come to me for help because their relationship has become neglected. They complain their partner is constantly on Social Media or texting their friends, rather than talking to them.
As a result there are constant arguments, and one may start an affair because they aren't getting their needs met in their relationship. Their relationship becomes so damaged its often beyond repair.
I see parents with their young children glued to their phones, completely ignoring their child. What are they teaching their children? Children are like sponges and their curiosity needs feeding. They don't need to feel lonely and left to their own devices all the time.
Life is being lived on a plastic screen.
If you are affected by any of these issues, you can contact me for a chat by email - firstname.lastname@example.org