(from Mashable.com) Internet addictions — especially to social media — have been well documented. But what’s the psychology behind it?
As it turns out, receiving and answering a notification results in a hit of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter associated with the motivation and reward response in the human brain. Social media notifications can have the same addictive effect.
Is this addiction real, though? In China, Taiwan and South Korea “Internet Addiction Disorder” is already accepted as a psychological diagnosis. Next year it’s slated for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-V).
Facebook and Internet addiction can have damaging effects, such as a decrease in our attention span — in fact, since 2000, our collective attention span has decreased by 40%. Check out this infographic to learn what’s actually happening.