First thing in the morning, do you check your social media? Do you spend a long time scrolling through social media before you start working? Is your work interrupted by social media, sometimes? Have your ever wondered what social media does to your brain? Do you think social media is addictive? Stina Börchers, currently living and studying in Gothenburg, wants to help shed light in these questions. She is a neuroscience student who is driven to answer the most pressing questions in the digital world to which people are hooked. She says, “Roughly, every 4th person on the planet is using some form of social media. As of 2019, individuals spend an average of 144 minutes a day on social media platforms. Originally built to connect people that might be separated spatially or temporally, they are nowadays insanely specialized in making you spend time and engage with content as much as possible. If you like, you could say they almost exploit the human need to socialize.”
In one of her posts titled ‘Your Brain on Instagram, TikTok & Co – The Neuroscience of Social Media’ on Instagram, she asks, and explains: “Then why do people use social media? Stina explains: “People have different reasons to use social media and those reasons can even differ between platforms. Maybe you just want to stay in touch with family and friends (who) are living far away by posting pictures of your every day life. Maybe you want to bring your ideas into the world by writing texts or creating videos. Maybe you want to create a good image of yourself. Maybe you want to share your experiences with others to help them. Whichever reason it is: social media satisfies those social drives and provide you with lots of feedback in form of likes ♥, comments 💬 shares, and follows.” Stina explains that likes and comments are rewarding similar to some substances and excercising.
Stina Börchers started her journey in science with a bachelor’s in biology and master’s in neuroscience at the University of Bremen in Germany. As a part of her Master’s program, she selected a lab at Gothenburg University for an internship. She ended up staying here for her master’s thesis, and continues in the same lab with her PhD: exploring gut-brain communication and its effects on emotional and feeding behavior among other aspects of science of lives, human beings.