2.3.1 Changes that effect young people

Communication has changed and there is no point denying it. We used to communicate in person. If you needed to communicate with somebody from a different country, you wrote them a mail. It took forever. With digitalisation everything changes. Communication became instant: in merely a second you can spread an information worldwide. How is this possible? Social media is so widespread, that everybody can communicate with everybody all the time. And with a bit more of a 2 billion social media users, sharing information can be almost instant.

See how social media is changing the way we communicate (Zurich Insurance Group)

How does this effect, young people? Since social media become such an important part of young people’s lives, it also influenced their thinking. Before young people were seeking approval in from their peers, but with the wide spread of social media, this need of beeing excepted transferred on the screens. It is getting more and more important to be excepted on social media.  And as explained in the next video getting likes it is very important. It gives you a feeling that everybody is paying attention to you and who wouldn’t like that?

How social media is affecting teens (The National)

The problematic part of using social media is from the young age on is that it changes your perception of the world, which in turn change your values and scientists now agree that using social media is changing also your brain. It can be a psychological addiction and it’s users have a hard time turning off. Interesting enough brain scans of these people are showing similar impairment of regions those with drug dependence have. Alarmingly this affects emotional processing, attention, and decision-making. This can be explained since the social media usage provides immediate rewards with a little of medium effort required, your brain begins craving for more and more of those neurological excitement. Interesting it is influencing also your ability of multitasking.

Communication on social medias it is also a bit more self-involved. Compared to 30 – 40% of talk about ourselves while chatting in real life, we spend around 80% of social media communication about our own experiences. Our body is even rewarding us with “dopamine” while talking about ourselves on social media.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards but to take action to move toward them.

5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now (AsapSCIENCE)

The other aspect of how the modern way of life influences our brain is making us more superficial as thinkers. The brain rewards us with dopamine for seeking new information.

The Internet is an incredible information rich environment.

For young people seeking information on the internet is a daily activity and this interrupts their focused calm thinking, which is essential for the way we learn. All the interruptions of the digital world (social media, emails, apps) are stopping our memory consilidation. It means transfering information from our short term working memory to our long term memory. And through moving information from working memory to long term memory we create connections and everything else that we know.

And the best things we can do for our minds is to find some time every day to unplug, calm down and focus our mind on one thing at a time.

What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (Epipheo)

There is also a phenomenon of The Google effect. With the extended usage of the internet, our brain started to memorize where we find information insted of what is the information. This will happen more and more and is even more visable with young people where a relationship with devices are starthing from the birth. Not remembering pure facts can be in some situation very dangerous (like when a pilot forgets it’s initial training), but on the other hand, FMRI of the brains show, that searching for information online can make our brains more active than reading a book.

Is Google Killing Your Memory? (BrainCraft)