Facebook affects your brain like cocaine
Apparently, using Facebook is like using cocaine. Now, we'd argue that it's more like doing aerosols in an underground car park while random people from your old school shout racist things at you, but whatever.
According to a study, around 11% of us suffer from some type of technology addiction, and after scanning some brains and crunching some numbers, it turns out that using Facebook is like doing coke.
Less erosion of the septum, you'd assume.
Professor Ofir Turel of California State University, Fullerton, looked at 20 brains (that were inside the skulls of 20 volunteers) and saw that the amygdala-striatal system was affected when people saw Facebook-related things. That's the bit of the brain that gets involved when you're addicted to drugs.
Of course, there are differences. Obviously, Facebook is much easier to quit than something like crack cocaine. We suspect the highs on social media are significantly crapper too.
Turel says: "The impulsive system can be thought of as a car’s accelerator, while the inhibitory system can be likened to a brake. In addictions, there is very strong acceleration associated with the impulsive system often coupled with a malfunctioning inhibitory system."
"The participants responded to Facebook stimuli faster than they did to road signs. This is scary when you think about it, since it means that users might respond to a Facebook message on their mobile device before reacting to traffic conditions if they are using technology while on the road."
Mercifully, the inhibitory system, which is also kicked into gear when it comes to drug addiction, wasn't affected.
"This is good news, since it means that the behaviour can be corrected with treatment. We speculate that addictive behaviour in this case stems from low motivation to control the behaviour, which is due partly to the relatively benign societal and personal consequences of technology overuse, compared to, say, substance abuse."