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This is what social media is doing to your brain

Can you become addicted to social media? Are active social-media users better at multitasking? A video from AsapSCIENCE shows us how social media is changing our brains.

In today's connected world, social media is practically inescapable. We turn to sites like Facebook or Twitter to broadcast our lives to friends, family, and acquaintances and follow what's going on with them. We walk around with our heads buried in our smartphones, tapping and scrolling through our feeds. But what impact does social media really have on our brains?

That's the question AsapSCIENCE set out to answer with its latest video -- and what it found probably won't surprise you. The Internet is addictive -- some 5 to 10 percent of all Internet users are unable to control how much they're glued to their screens. This addiction impacts the brain much like drug and alcohol addictions, the video explains, with a significant reduction of fractional anisotropy in several white-matter pathways, according to one study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Oh, and heavy social-media users might really stink at multitasking, doing far worse than more casual social-media users at multitasking, another study says. Heavy media users are used to switching from task to task, and appear to be less able to filter out inessential and irrelevant information while multitasking.

Social-media use isn't all bad, though, according to the video, which says social media triggers a rise in dopamine levels, which makes you feel happy. Learn all about these effects and more by checking out the video at the top of this post, and be sure to share it with your friends on social networks.