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Recognising the dangerously addictive quality of social media sites

Increasingly, millennials are proving their place in society. They are the generation that grew up digitally connected, and furthermore, physically connected to their wifi-capable devices.

Now studies (like the one mentioned in the article linked below) are being undertaken to prove that the group does not need to be restrained within their nurtured situation - that millennials are happy to be free, and break free, of social media tyranny.

In fact, they do recognise the addictive nature of commonly-used sites including the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

The “social validation feedback loop” that consumes “as much of your time and conscious energy as possible” also suggests a looming shadow on society's concerns for what is happening in terms of things like gambling, alcohol and drug addiction. The structure here is essentially the same - Twitter sending notifications to your phone when someone you follow has started to Tweet again, and snapchat's streak and snapscore functions which essentially creates a competition between users, encouraging "excessive" usage.

Although, I must also highlight the fact the article suggests that taking a 'social media detox' is a trendy thing to do "...they join celebrities such as Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan, who have all undergone some form of digital detox". Pretty much summarising what millennials are all about, right?

A study of 5,000 students commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference found that 63% said they would not care if social media did not exist and a whopping 71% had taken a break from social media. They join celebrities such as Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan, who have all undergone some form of digital detox. It seems as if we countercultural millennials may really be on to something. Speaking to the Times on Friday, the tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, one of the pioneers of Facebook, admitted the site was designed to keep people hooked in a “social validation feedback loop” that consumes “as much of your time and conscious energy as possible”.

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