Why We’re Addicted to Facebook, According to Science

Lauren Powell
by Lauren Powell
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Do you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through your Facebook feed time and time again only to lose precious seconds, minutes, or even hours? It seems you’re not alone. According to Business Insider Australia, Facebook users are spending nearly an hour every day on the social network—and we may have just found out why.

As reported by The Age, new research from Journal of Applied Social Psychology has shed some light as to why we waste so much time on the platform, and social media in general. Firstly, the study shows that our perception of time is altered when online. The study involved 44 people who were shown a variety of images for different amounts of time who then had to guess how long they’d view the image for. Interestingly, the participants underestimated how long they’d looked at the Facebook images and the internet images in general.

Secondly, you can also thank your hormones for your Facebook addition—yes, really. Health and community psychologist Marny Lishman explained that social networking site stimulates our brain and releases the feel-good hormone, dopamine, which results in us wanted to go back for more to achieve that feeling time and time again. Fascinating.

Consequently, being online results in an overload of sensory information which your brain then needs to process which stops us from being able to achieve the rest our bodies require. "It's robbing us of important chill-out time that our minds and bodies need to unwind," Lishman told The Age. So how do we break this consuming habit? Lishman suggests allocating yourself a specific amount of time per day to check your social media channels adding "We survived without social media not that long ago, you can survive now without it for a day or two.” 

Want to kick your Facebook habit? Keep a Kindle e-reader close by and reach for it instead of your phone.

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