Risk for Reward?
Social media has a reinforcing nature. Using it activates the brain’s reward centre by releasing dopamine, a “feel-good chemical” linked to pleasurable activities such as sex, food, and social interaction. Platforms are designed to be addictive and are associated with anxiety and depression, even physical ailments.
External Locus of Control
To boost self-esteem and feel a sense of belonging in social circles, people often post content with hopes of receiving positive feedback. Positive feedback boosts dopamine. Couple that with posting content with the potential future reward, and you get a recipe for constantly checking platforms. Allowing your sense of self worth or value to be dictated by what likes you receive on social media is a dangerous game. This promotes something called External Locus of Control.
External locus of control is associated with lower ratings of self-worth, well-being and feeling deflated.
Build Your Internal Locus of Control
Having an Internal Locus of Control means you rate personal value and self-worth upon your own knowing instead of what accolades you receive from others. You do not rely on others for praise, or likes to boost your self esteem. Your self esteem is boosted from within rather from without.
How do I cultivate an Internal Locus of Control?
1.) Be aware that you have choices
2.) Ask yourself, “Do I feel like a victim or a survivor”? If you feel like a victim, figure out what it would take to feel more like a healthy survivor and do that. Even if it is something small.
3.) Reframe your language from, “I can’t because… ” to “I choose to do this because….”
Stop Scrolling and Start Smiling
Get off social media. Stop endlessly scrolling! Lift your head and notice what you are thankful for.
Try taking one month off social media and see how you feel.
Find other ways of increasing the dopamine in your brain! Rest, nutrition, exercise, forest bathing, smiling!