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DOPAMINE – IT’S ADDICTIVE!
Dopamine, known as the “feel-good” chemical, is released by the brain into the system by certain triggers. It makes us feel good, gives us that kick of pleasure, a high. There are “natural highs” that can cause dopamine to be released, and there are also other substances – nicotine and alcohol, to name two of the most common. They both create a feeling of “all is well” – and then there is the let-down. In both cases, over time, you need more and more in order to reach that “feel good” point. They are both addictive.
Dopamine is also released by prolonged exposure to social media – or, as I prefer to call it, anti-social media. The “hit” that comes from those likes to a selfie we have posted, or a comment we have made; the approval of our peers – these too have been proven to be just as addictive as nicotine and alcohol, and just as damaging to our health and wellbeing.
It is not uncommon for the habits of smoking and drinking to start in those formative teenage years, when youngsters no longer look to their parents for approval (“likes”) but to their peers. Adolescence, that time of transitioning from child to adult, is very stressful, and the “relaxation” that comes from smoking and / or drinking alcohol is a welcome release, a way to cope. And in moderation, it’s fine – but for many, it becomes harder and harder to stop, and then it becomes addiction.
In those formative teenage years, interaction on social media is nowadays more important than interacting with real people. How often do you see people at dinner not talking to each other, but glued to their phones? How often do people have meetings with their phones right there on the table? What reaction do you have if you ask someone to put their phone away?
Serious scientific studies have shown that increased time on Facebook and similar social media pages leads to increased depression. It is linked to issues such as self-image, self-esteem and comparing ourselves to others.
This over-reliance on the approval of others is harmful at many levels and can lead to addiction.
It’s not only those mental and emotional issues that are so harmful. All of these devices – mobile phones, tablets, laptops and so on – emit EMFs, WiFi radiation. These unseen waves can easily lead to electro-sensitivity, the body’s inability to cope with the overdose of radiation. Symptoms of electro-sensitivity include lack of concentration; increased anxiety, stress and depression, as well as physical symptoms such as flu-like aches and pains; dry eyes; nose bleeds; bladder weakness; irregular periods; headaches; and of course burning ears from extended mobile phone use.
For more information about electro-sensitivity, check out the websites of ES-UK (www.es-uk.info) and EM Radiation Research Trust (www.radiationresearch.org) .