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International Journal of Advance Foundation and Research in Computer (IJAFRC)

Volume 2, Issue 8, August - 2015. ISSN 2348 4853, Impact Factor 1.317

Effects Of Social Media On The Psychology Of People.


Akhtar Rasool, 2Dr. (Er.) Majid Zaman and 3Dr. Muheet Ahmad
1 M.Phil Scholar, Department of Computer Science, University of Kashmir, J&k, India
2 Scientist B, Directorate of IT&SS, University of Kashmir, J&k, India
3 Scientist D, Department of Computer Science, University of Kashmir, J&k, India
Humans believe that they control the gadgets they use. But scientists like Stephen Hawking warns
computers could control humans within a century [18]. From clock to clock, every newfangled
technology has reshaped the path in which humans imagine and behave. The tech gizmos, of
which we are parasites now, have surprisingly started rewiring our brains [7] [19]. The inception
research intimates that addiction of drug and that of web possess same traits [5]. Online social
networks (OSNs) has gained vigor in all the genesis of internet users and current research
betokens that there is a link between heightened social media use and devolved mental health
[20]. Unluckily, young adults, the most vigorous users, have a preponderantly greater risk for
germinating mental health issues. In this paper, we gauge the effect of social networks on the
behavioral and psychological outcomes of humans.. (Abstract)
Index Terms : Social media, Psychology, Internet addiction disorder, Stress, Attention deficit
disorder, Fear of missing out, Memory, Brain, Multitasking.



The term Social Media is usually applied to describe the various forms of internet based tools or
applications through which media content like pictures, videos, information and ideas are publicly
available and created by end-users [21]. Undoubtedly social media is inordinately popular as it renders
the wagon for presenting the self and offers virtual connectivity between the masses. As per January
2015 statistics by [22], worlds total population is 7.21 billion in which there are 3.01 billion active
internet users, 2.078 billion active social media accounts, 3.649 billion unique mobile users and 1.685
billion are having active mobile social accounts.
Given that virtual social connectivity is progressively towering in the minds of users, especially young
adults, it has become part of our environment. Since everyone is a product of his environment and
specific bio cases, influences and milieu can further commute our mental health and hence our
psychology and behavior. Thus it is need of the hour to understand how OSN usage may affect the mental
health of the user.
From puerility to adolescence, social connectivity play a primal role in molding individuals' deportment.
The rapid climb of social networking that has been observed over the last decade reveals its debut into
conventional culture and its integration in day to day activities of people. In collimate with this,
researchers are concerned with the potential consequences and worries about the manner some people
are engaging with it. Social media has already drawn its impact on our shopping [23], relationships [24]
and education [25], and on the other hand psychology literature paints a picture that various kinds of
34 | 2015, IJAFRC All Rights Reserved

International Journal of Advance Foundation and Research in Computer (IJAFRC)

Volume 2, Issue 8, August - 2015. ISSN 2348 4853, Impact Factor 1.317
social networks have different impacts on individuals behavior, such as increased depression, anxiety,
compulsive behavior, loneliness, and narcissism [20]. This spectacular tempt of apace social media and
other tech widgets carry on to astonish us all [1].
The brain of human is almost boundlessly pliable. Neurological research has pulverized the theory of the
static brain. Earlier it was reckoned that our mental meshing, the impenetrable thousands of zillions of
synaptic-connections formed among synapses of billions of neurons in our brain, was predominately
fixed by the clock we attained maturity. But brain researchers like James Olds, a professor of
neuroscience at George Mason University, have discovered that even the fully-grown mind is very plastic.
Nerve cells can break old connections and form new ones as per commonplace activities and therefore
the brain has the aptitude to redesign itself in the voyage and thus modifying the way it functions [2].
Since internet has become part of our voyage and new experiences marching on the web can reorganized
the neural connections. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) results are disclosing specific results
influencing the brain and conduct because of web surfing [3]. In an essay Is Google Making Us Stupid?
Mr. Carr says that the wallop of cyberspace browsing on human brains is even more disturbing than he
thought [2].
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is turning to be a grave psychological issue all over the world [16]. It
can cause shudders, shatters, queasiness, revulsion, nausea and anxiety in some addicts. Many
professionals now view IAD analogous to Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and gambling. Abnormal White
Matter Integrity (AWMI) in the Orbitofrontal Cortex (OFC) has been oftentimes observed in the
citizenries exposed to addictive things, such as alcohol [11], cocaine [12] [13], marijuana [14] and
ketamine [15], and findings of Dr. Hao Lei in [6] indicate that IAD has similar AWMI in realms of brain
involving emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision making and cognitive
control. Professionals in China, led by Dr. Hao Lei, minutely examined the brains of 35 young web
addicts, aged between 14 and 21, using MRI and the results revealed that there are disturbances in the
manner their brains were fabricated. On the basis of questionnaire, seventeen of them were classed as
having internet addiction disorder (IAD). Specialized MRI brain scans revealed changes in the white
matter of the brain in those categorized as being web addicts, compared with non-addicts. They
articulate that the findings could lead to new treatments for addictive or habit forming behavior [6].

Figure showing MRI brain scans [6].

The brain is constituted of Sensory Memory, Short Term Memory and Long Term Memory. Sensory
Memory makes up the initial stage of sensing of stimuli received via the senses of vision, smell, hearing,
touch and taste. The perceptions of Sensory Memory are sustained precisely but very concisely (200
500 milliseconds). The second stage of information processing is the working or short-term memory.
This type of memory is usually called as working memory as it acts as scratch pad for the processing of
35 | 2015, IJAFRC All Rights Reserved

International Journal of Advance Foundation and Research in Computer (IJAFRC)

Volume 2, Issue 8, August - 2015. ISSN 2348 4853, Impact Factor 1.317
new information being taken in. So as to make room for new incoming information, short term memory is
flushed at regular intervals. Usually, shares of the information in the working memory is further
computed and transferred to long term memory for more permanent storage [26]. The capacity of the
short term memory is quite limited but the internet inundates it with a ceaseless flow of information with
each tick of clock, and its capacity is soon washed-out and with the result no or very small information is
processed into the long term memory. Vast and strong thinking calls for a fresh, still and heedful mind.
Due to the pace and amount of internet information ingestion, it might be difficult to develop a fresh, still
and heedful mind. This in turn can lead to lack of patience, sympathy and attention, which is now
commonly found in web youths [4].
Recent studies now validated the direct connection between Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and social
media. Scientists have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in memory, learning, and other vital
functions. Sleep helps in consolidating the new acquired information in brain, which can easily be
recalled afterwards. Because of the advent of internet, especially uncontrolled use of social media,
average number of sleep hours per night decreases in inverse proportion to the average number of hours
per day of Internet use [3].
Social media has induced stress in the minds of people through some or the other way. Stressors result in
the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, by the endocrine system. These
hormones are potentially dangerous as Cortisol affects the metabolic system and epinephrine plays a
significant role in Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as depression, hypertension
and shutting down metabolic processes such as digestion, reproduction, growth and immunity [27]. In
addition to that, these stressors can negatively affect the short term and long term memory of our brain.
When the brain tries to send a signal out to the body, cortisol will interfere with the ability of the neurotransmitters to communicate and thus makes it difficult to retrieve information from our long term
memory [17].
Social media is degrading our souls as is perceived by Jaron Lanier, a virtual-reality pioneer [8]. By the
advent of Social media, from the cradle of society that esteemed the beautiful world of ideas in the realms
of mind, man is approaching towards an artificially constructed mind that values virtual profiles, speed
and group approval over the originality of human thought and creativity [7]. Furthermore, Mediaassisted crimes such as ferocity, breach of privacy, hacking, blackmailing, child abuse, etc. are taking new
forms [3].
Social media makes citizenries ungratified and addictive. Reports reveal that 63% of Americans log on to
Facebook daily, and 40% log on more than once each day. It is common now that people on Social media
compare their flavors and spirits with that of others. As a matter of fact, a team of surveyors in the UK
surveyed users in 2012, 53% of subjects admitted that social media changed their behavior through some
or the other way; 51% revealed that social media has affected their behavior negatively because of
diminution of confidence due to unfair and unwanted comparisons to others. 95% of teenagers using
online social networking have witnessed cyberbullying, and 33% have been victims themselves. By the
use of Social media users may experience that they are not productive, fortunate or smart enough and
can lead to fear of missing out (FOMO) [11] and thus induces sadness in the user.
Social media often leads to multitasking [11], and notification play vital role in this phenomena as alerts
can break and deviate our concentration [10], whether or not we take action on them initially for some
time. If you perceive that a notification related to contents of media has come in, then most probably you
will be restless and initiate interrogating yourself that what is this notification about, what are the
36 | 2015, IJAFRC All Rights Reserved

International Journal of Advance Foundation and Research in Computer (IJAFRC)

Volume 2, Issue 8, August - 2015. ISSN 2348 4853, Impact Factor 1.317
possible contents, who is the sender, etc. All of these queries ingest up worthful bandwidth within the
brain and takes our concentration off the track. Undoubltly these pings are of little duration usually, but
these knock the door of smooth working mind and thus can prompt task-irrelevant or mind wandering
thoughts, and thus significantly disrupt performance on an attention-demanding task.
This review paper presents the potential threats to the human psychology due to uncontrolled use of
internet, especially social media. Although social media is a great tool, but parllely it is important that
public must be well aware about the negative consiquences of social media on mental health. The number
of social media users is increasing rapidly and are getting addicted to it. This indicates the fact that the eworld is overshadowing the real world. Just for the sake of Migures, social media users have so many
virtual friends, but practically they are devoid of real and good friends. They are burning their valuable
mental oil for the sake of viruality and inturn degrading the psycological and social values. The virtual
world provided by social media is not a cake walk, rather it too is contaminated with miseries.


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37 | 2015, IJAFRC All Rights Reserved

International Journal of Advance Foundation and Research in Computer (IJAFRC)

Volume 2, Issue 8, August - 2015. ISSN 2348 4853, Impact Factor 1.317
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38 | 2015, IJAFRC All Rights Reserved

International Journal of Advance Foundation and Research in Computer (IJAFRC)

Volume 2, Issue 8, August - 2015. ISSN 2348 4853, Impact Factor 1.317

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39 | 2015, IJAFRC All Rights Reserved