Physiology: Brain Chemistry Leaves Us Craving More “Likes”
A featured article by Oxford outlined that Neuroscientists are studying the effects of social media on the brain and finding that positive interactions (such as someone liking your post) trigger the same kind of chemical reaction that is caused by gambling and recreational drugs.
According to an article by Harvard University researcher Trevor Haynes, when you get a social media notification, your brain sends a chemical messenger called dopamine along a reward pathway, which makes you feel good. Dopamine is associated with food, exercise, love, sex, gambling, drugs … and now, social media.
According to studies, the reward centers in our brains are most active when we’re talking about ourselves. In real life, people talk about themselves 30 to 40 percent of the time; social media is all about showing off your life, so people talk about themselves a whopping 80 percent of the time. When a person posts a picture and gets positive social feedback, it stimulates the brain to release dopamine, which again rewards that behavior and perpetuates the social media habit.