In the age of social media, many people have more interactions on the internet than in real life. This experience has been coined as a new descriptive term: Chronically online.
According to the Urban Dictionary, the chronically online are those who have become so absorbed in internet culture and online discourse, they’ve lost touch with what happens in the real world. They can misinterpret discussions, and get offended over things most healthy people would not.
According to Pew Research, 65% of Americans think people getting too easily offended is a major problem, but a slimmer majority of 53% believe those saying offensive things are the issue.
What’s clear is that people have become a lot more engaged online. A new scientific study published in JAMA Pediatrics highlights how being on the web for such long periods of time is actually affecting the brains and sensitivity of teenagers.
The study was conducted with students 12 to 13 years old when research began. Over a 3-year period, the kids reported their social media behavior and underwent imaging of their brains. Those who checked social media more often showed greater neural sensitivity in parts of the brain, while those who checked social media less showed less sensitivity.
The researchers say it’s not clear whether or not that’s a good thing.
A lead researcher said in the study that “Heightened sensitivity could lead to later compulsive social media behaviors, or it could reflect an adaptive neural change that helps teens navigate their social worlds.”
IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA – PEOPLE ARE HAVING MORE INTERACTIONS ON THE INTERNET THAN IN REAL LIFE – AND IT’S LEADING TO A GROWING PHENOMENON
WELL I’D LIKE TO SHOW YOU THE CHRONICALLY ONLINE COMPASS
THAT’S A PHRASE SOCIAL MEDIA USERS HAVE COINED. CHRONICALLY ONLINE – ACCORDING TO THE URBAN DICTIONARY, IT DESCRIBES PEOPLE WHO HAVE BECOME SO OVERLY ABSORBED IN INTERNET CULTURE AND ONLINE TALK, THEY’VE LOST TOUCH WITH HOW TO INTERACT IN THE REAL WORLD – ARGUING OVER THINGS MOST ORDINARY PEOPLE WOULD NOT
IF YOU WORK OUT – STRICTLY FOR APPEARANCE BASED REASONS. YOU ARE FATPHOBIC
CALL IT HYPERSENSITIVE OR WHAT YOU WANT – PEOPLE ARE GETTING EASILY OFFENDED AND PEW RESEARCH SHOWS A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS THINK THAT’S A MAJOR PROBLEM
MEANWHILE A NEW SCIENTIFIC STUDY OUT THIS WEEK LINKS BEING CHRONICALLY ONLINE TO ACTUAL CHANGES IN THE BRAIN – AT LEAST AMONG TEENAGERS
NEUROSCIENTISTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA HAVE FOUND THAT TEENS AROUND THE AGE OF 12 WHO HABITUALLY CHECK THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA BECOME MORE AND MORE SENSITIVE TO THE FEEDBACK OF THEIR PEERS OVER TIME – THEY REPORT AN OPPOSITE EFFECT ON TEENAGERS WHO USE LESS SOCIAL MEDIA
THE RESEARCHERS SAY IT’S NOT CLEAR WHETHER THAT’S A GOOD OR A BAD THING NOTING THAT HEIGHTENED SENSITIVITY COULD HELP TEENS LEARN TO CONNECT WITH OTHER OR IT COULD LEAD TO MORE COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR
THE STUDY WAS PUBLISHED TO THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AND IS ONE OF THE FIRST OF ITS KIND. EXPERTS SAY MORE DATA IS NEEDED TO FORM A WELL ROUNDED CONCLUSION