We’ve all heard about binge-eating. Well, have you heard of Binge-scrolling on social platforms? I’m becoming one of those people and that ain’t good. From the moment my phone’s alarm goes off at 5:45, a strange urging in my head makes me pick it up and immediately click on social media sites. Being a journalist (and not having the resources of bigger newspapers) each morning I check the social media sites for anything that warrants breaking news. But should I? How does this affect my mood, my health? Would it be wiser to turn off my phone and enjoy my morning cup of Joe?

I know I should cultivate a non-social media lifestyle but gosh, it’s hard. Even the SgtMaj made a remark about it. One night during dinner we were talking about something and at the same time I was texting someone about an interview the following day. I looked up and he was staring at me. I said, “What?” and he asked me to repeat what he just said. I couldn’t.

Another issue is the emotional consequences of social media. I often refrain from commenting on the topics I post on The News social media page. Experience has taught me that whatever I say can easily be misinterpreted. One reason could be the absence of expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements injected into a verbal conversation but are nonexistent when conveyed on a computer screen. I might as well throw gas on a raging fire rather than try to explain the purpose of a funny photo.

So why do we keep going back? There’s a lot of psychology involved. One study suggests that when we get positive feedback it affects the brain’s reward center. And when we ‘like’ something oftentimes we are showing unity for that friend or acquaintance. However, I’ve also read that reading happy posts about others aren’t always good for you. Those studies show that exposure to positive posts on certain social platforms may induce envy and lead to depression and reduced well-being over time. Studies also show that people who are lonely feel better when they receive composed comments as opposed to just ‘likes’.

Sharing too much information is one of my pet peeves. I’ll never understand why someone would tell the world they broke up with their boyfriend - without telling their boyfriend - who is left to find out from their ex’s post. Some experts say the behavior is self-indulgent and unfair to the other person. There should be an unspoken (or posting) rule that forbids anyone from sharing such private admissions. I certainly wouldn’t want that to happen to me so why would I do that to another?

All of these studies seem confusing to me which gives me more reason to lay down the phone, relax my thumbs, raise my head up and have a good ole’ face-to-face communication. It will also keep my mental status in check, which is always a plus.

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