Do you constantly look at your social networks? So it could affect your brain

The use of social networks and the mobile phone in general, it is evident that they have not stopped growing exponentially until relatively recently, when we have reached a point in which their use is already widespread and normalized.

Almost 41 million Spaniards are users of one of the existing social networks. Being Facebook and WhatsApp the most common in our territory, the data also shows us that women are the majority by very little, since they represent 51% of users, compared to 49% of men, according to a report.

2 platforms such as Hootsuite and We Are Social, were in charge of carrying out this work, they also found other significant data. For example, that an average user uses more than 6 applications daily per month, spending an average of almost 2 hours connected to the phone each day.

In addition, 1.3% of these users are under 13 years of age, so it can be seen that there are many minors who make practically identical use of their mobile phone, or any electronic device, to that of an adult. Therefore, these acts may end up having some consequences, especially in the cognitive area.


Frequent use affects brain development

The frequent consultation of some social networks (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) is associated with changes in the functional development of the brain in these early adolescents, around the age of 12, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of North Carolina, in USA.

As a result of this investigation, it was discovered that this continuous and repeated attention during the youngsters throughout the day, ends up causing a change in the sensitivity of the brain, associated with social rewards and punishments.

An example of this is the number of interactions you establish through the platform, the ‘likes’ received as a result of a post of yours or how that same ‘post’ is received among your followers can help influence this type of process. cognitive.

Says Eva Telzer, one of the study’s authors and a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina, “It’s a really dramatic period of brain development, particularly in these brain regions that respond to social rewards.”

Obviously it is a completely upward trend. As a report from the Pew Research Center shows us, since 2014 there has been a large increase in the proportion of adolescents who already have their own mobile phone, going from 73% to 95% today.

The sampling, carried out only in the United States, also provided a data value that could be worrying. Despite the fact that adolescents between the ages of 13 and 14 should have less access to these platforms, 91% are the ones who remain connected. In a higher age range, almost reaching the age of majority, the percentage is 97%, practically identical figures when the exposure for both should be different.

Published by The Tampa Herald, news and information agency.

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