10 Strange Effects of Social Media on Your Brain

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It may alter your ability to think independently

Online platforms help people connect, build strong bonds, share their experiences and express their opinions, but people subconsciously start to share the same values and principles with other groups only to feel socially included and accepted by a community.

You can see this phenomenon even nowadays when it comes to topics related to the coronavirus pandemic, namely that there are people who believe in this virus, others think that it was created voluntarily in a lab, people who wear a surgical face mask to prevent the spread of the virus, individuals who don’t want to get a COVID-19 vaccine and so on. In other words, people tend to ‘think’ like other people to be socially accepted, and this happens even in politics or parenting groups.

This usually happens when you are afraid to express your opinion freely, because you don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings or be socially excluded. Many people do this without realizing it, and social media can be one of the causes.

According to Alex Anastasiou, DO, a San Francisco–based psychiatrist, “Social media encourages groups of people connected to each other online to share similar ideas and beliefs. Basic human psychology suggests that people have a tendency to conform to their ‘group’ so that they can fit in and be well-liked. Over time, the values and beliefs shared by a group become more similar.”

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