Believe it or not, people can become addicted to the internet — and in actuality, many already are. The disturbing reality is one Prince Harry noticed, which is why he spoke about the need to “unplug” from social media and the internet at a recent charity event.
At the mental health event in Copenhagen, Denmark, Prince Harry said the amount of time people spend on their phones is “crazy and scary.” He said: “People are spending far too much time online and it’s like a mental running machine that they can’t get off. You wouldn’t put your body through such a workout. I’m the last person to say ‘ban it’ but people are suffering from mental fatigue and getting burnt out. We all need to talk to each other more.”
As TreeHugger notes, these are wise words from the young Royal more people need to heed. In China, internet addicts (mostly teenagers) are being sent to boot camps to detach from social media and the like. According to The Guardian, there are at least 23 million internet addicts in China.
It is pertinent to note that internet addiction is not entirely the fault of the populace. Companies that create the technology we love so much are savvy at keeping people online. Why? Because the more clicks a site receives, the more ad revenue that is generated. It’s an unhealthy cycle that, unsurprisingly, is being fueled by greed.
The topic of internet addiction is one more people need to converse about. As the short video by ASAPScience (below) reveals, the more time users spend on social media, the more the human brain changes. The video mentions:
1) A small percentage of people have difficulty logging off
The more time people spend on social media, the more depredation of white matter in the regions of the brain that control emotional processing, attention, and decision-making. Yes, it’s a serious problem
2) Social media addiction inhibits the ability to multi-task
You might feel like you are accomplishing a lot by switching back and forth between tasks but in reality, heavy use of social media makes people worse at task-switching exercises. Research shows heavy media use makes it harder for people to filter out distractions and they have a more difficult time memorizing things.
3) Social media users may be highly self-absorbed
Research shows that 30 to 40 percent of face-to-face conversations revolve around oneself. When using social media, that number increases to 80 percents. The reason why? Dopamine, a “feel good” neurotransmitter that rushes into the brain when tasks are accomplished. People are literally hooked on social media as it makes them feel good.
4) Social media users commonly struggle with ‘phantom vibration syndrome’
Reportedly, eighty percent of people say they think they feel their phones go off at least once every two weeks. This is a sign of dependency on the internet.
Watch the video below to learn more:
If you think internet addiction is a problem and support Prince Harry’s opinion, please share this news and comment your thoughts below!