The Social Media: Social Life Survey finds 81% of teenagers use social media, and though the number of kids turning to their smartphones hasn’t changed much in the past five years, the frequency with which they check in has doubled.The dopamine of likes has them hooked.
But a disturbing trend the survey found is the preference to text or type communications that has become dramatically preferable to face to face conversations, an indication that today’s teens are not learning the body language and nuanced methods of conveying messages to one another.
Mental health consultant and counselor Lori Vann says the tech companies know they have a powerful weapon that commands teen’s attention with all the power of a one-eyed bandit. “It’s like slot machines. You can’t help but keep pulling that lever or pushing that button. It acts on our brain to make us hooked to gain all of those likes or hearts,” Vann tells KTRH News.She has been treating patients for more than 20 years, and says social media is making people, old and young, anxious, and afraid of missing out. It’s not only teens that are coming to her with heightened social media anxiety. “There’s a lot of adults that suffer from FOMO as well. This anxiety is not exclusively for kids and teenagers.Adults are very much guilty of a lot of these things as well.”
Though many people can claim to have more friends than ever before we are increasingly living in a world where no one talks anymore.