Social Media: The Dopamine Problem


Have you ever been scrolling through your phone on social media when you see how well every post matches your interests? You could think, “This is so relatable; my phone must know what I like.” That isn’t a coincidence. A film related to this topic called, “The Social Dilemma,” on Netflix further explains and breaks down what social media is, and why it was created.

Social media referring to Tik Tok, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter are one of the major platforms people used to interact today. It has been very beneficial, in remaining in contact with family and friends with just a click of a button and staying up to date with what everyone is doing. It has made research easier than ever, with online learning enabling the idea of doing things with no physical interactions. However, these pros also come with many cons. 

The film argues this subject, mentioning that social media is highly addictive, manipulatively designed to keep us scrolling. For example, every time you interact with a certain post, the more you will see a similar post to the one you liked previously.  If you like funny, comedic videos or memes, that is what you will see more of. Everything you do on social media is carefully watched and recorded promptly. People’s egos expand as a result of likes, comments, and shares, this incident also causes other serious issues- producing a society full of anxiety, depression, insecurities, beauty standards, and falsely luxurious lifestyles by taking such interactions as the truth. This takes advantage of our need for connection and other people’s approval, giving us a dopamine rush whenever we like or react without ever meeting our most fundamental wants. These issues impact our health, mentally physically, emotionally, etc. 

The concept of “fake news” was another significant topic covered in the film. Knowing which information on social media is true and which is false can be very difficult. Have you ever heard the phrase, “not everything is as it seems”? For instance, even though someone posts happy photographs of themselves, they may not truly be happy. Additionally, I this is seen in suicide rates, particularly for celebrities. Even if you are famous, wealthy and successful, you still desire to attempt suicide? These things aren’t adding up. Social media has skyrocketed the rate of mental health issues, and diagnosis for constant feelings of sadness. This is because people think social media will solve the problem when social media is causing them to continue to rely on the dopamine of constant likes, comments, and interactions. 

Social media is a topic that is rarely discussed, yet it is a continuous cycle for dopamine. And it is dangerous.