Alyss Bowen | Social Media Editor | Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Facebook Apparently Affects Your Brain In The Same Way As Doing Coke, Help

Facebook Apparently Affects Your Brain In The Same Way As Doing Coke, Help

The Debrief: A Facebook addiction activates the same area of the brain as a cocaine addiction, science says so

When your mother told you social media was rotting your brain, she may not have been wrong. Up to 11% of us suffer from some form of technology addiction (hands up, everyone), and according to a brain scan study, Facebook affects our brain in a similar way to drugs like cocaine. Scary or what? 

A professor from the California State University, Fullerton, monitored the brains of 20 volunteers and discovered that the amygdala-striatal system (we’re not sure either, don’t worry) linked to drug addiction, was also affected when they saw images they could associate to Facebook. 

The study goes on to say that the participants acted quicker to Facebook stimuli than they did to road signs, which is terrifying – don’t text and drive. Turel explained: '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.'

There are differences in the two addictions, thank God. Facebook is apparently easier to quit than say, an expensive coke habit. The impulsive systems in the brain worked better for compulsive Facebook users during the whole monitoring period, unlike in people with drug addictions. 

Which is apparently good news, as it means the behavior can be treated; feel free to turn delete your Facebook app right now. We’re going on a Facebook cleanse starting at midnight because we’re already a bit too addicted. 

Here’s 3 ways to limit yourself from Facebook and stop the addictive impulses. 

1. Limit yourself to half an hour on Facebook a day. Do you really need 2.5 hours a night stalking that girl from school who was more popular than you? Answer: no. Give yourself a half hour window to get that stalking out of the way, you’ll feel loads better. 

2. Delete the app. Okay, so we joked about not being able to bring ourselves to doing this one, just yet. But it’s worth it. Not only does it save your battery life, but if you don’t have the app, you're less likely to go on it. 

3. Turn off at weekends. Most people have jobs nowadays that involve checking social media on a daily basis, so, on the days when you don’t have to – don’t go on it. Give yourself, and your eyes, a break and stay clear of any Facebook action. 

Like this? You might also be interested in…

Things You’ll Only Know If Your Boyfriend Does Loads Of Coke And You Don’t 

I’m The Only One Of My Friends Who Doesn’t Do Coke, And That’s OK 

Facebook Stalking Is Offically Over (Here’s Why) 

Follow Alyss on Twitter @alyssbowen 

Tags: Facebook et al, Drugs, Tech