Dopamine and our covid social media addiction.
"Neurotransmitters do not act independently. They interact with and affect each other to maintain a careful chemical balance within the body. There are strong links between the serotonin and dopamine systems, both structurally and in function. In some cases, serotonin appears to inhibit dopamine production, which means that low levels of serotonin can lead to an overproduction of dopamine. This may lead to impulsive behavior, due to the role that dopamine plays in reward seeking behavior. Serotonin inhibits impulsive behavior, while dopamine enhances impulsivity."
The science of your
Social (media) Brain.
In terms of our cognitive capability, the self-awareness aspect of emotional-intelligence (EI) easily beats any other form of intelligence a person can have.
Harvard Business School identified that fact that of two post graduates, the one with high Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EI/EQ) "...accounts for nearly 90 percent of what sets high performers apart from peers with similar technical skills and knowledge."
Ironically, our self-awareness is often informed by external awareness, through feedback from others.
As we seek to improve ourselves, we may seek out thought leadership and pursue rational, objective, third party feedback. This starts out as a quest for knowledge, but people who are adept at influence, are right there waiting to trigger your dopamine and incite impulsiveness.
Seeking wisdom is useful, to a point,
but can lead somewhere very unhelpful...
The pursuit of VALIDATION and SOCIAL CONFORMITY is happening right now on CLUBHOUSE and through other forms of social media like TIKTOK. But it's not all real and there is as much pseudo wisdom as there is real wisdom.
Thanks to Covid, we are seeing large numbers of people flock to social media to seek 'social intercourse' to fuel the reward system of their social brain. DOPAMINE.
If I ever did a PhD, I would love to process statistical data on the social behaviours of leaders and the cognitive dissonance between the perceived benefits of social media and the productive reality. It would surprise you how quickly smart people can become illogical.
Having built audiences as high as 51 million for brands, I have first hand experience in the wisdom that quantity is not indicative of success.
Having a large audience for some fields of expertise actually makes success much harder, because now you have invest resources to filter the response to find the connection of value that really matters.
Who are you REALLY following?
There is very little vetting happening online and almost anyone, many with criminal backgrounds, can begin hype marketing on Clubhouse and Tiktok for the purpose of exploitation and victimisation.
Typically, the historical view of wisdom has been that the wisest sage could be found separated from humanity, in remote, isolated places, far from social influence.
Yet many of the Guru's who promoted ideas such as levitation, used parlour tricks to gain their followers.
To my observation, a large number of so called spiritual leaders, have used every kind of trickery to achieve hedonistic, selfish pursuits, and we see this happening again in new platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse. Unabated, they have simply moved from Facebook to where the frenzied crowds of dopamine induced public are thronging.
No one examines the motives of those who use hype marketing to command social media, and so no one conducts any due diligence on the background of speakers.
There are some informative past cases of social frenzies, as is the case of Indian Guru OSHO, who undoubtedly offered some sage wisdom, but then proceeded to rape his female followers. His teachings ultimately resulted in the pursuit of hedonism.
Our need to belong, to fit in, causes us to seek people like us, become part of social groups and then get caught up in the inertia and momentum while under the spell of dopamine.
Any group that uses hype to propagate dopamine, which precludes impulsivity, is conducting a form a "mind control". They leverage an advanced understanding of psychology to manipulate people, including manipulating some of the smartest minds. No one is immune.
In the modern age, it seems everyone is now an expert and supposed sages have gathered together in very large numbers. So what are the arguments for and against wise people congregating in large numbers?
I have focused on the neuroscience of social intercourse, based on the physical dopamine reward system and imbalances of serotonin to mitigate impulsiveness.
Most leaders will say that they are not impulsive and that they are instead moderating their use of the social medium for growing an audience. Where their behaviour becomes excessive, by comparison to past behaviours, these people may instead have become subject to serving the social medium they thought would serve them and may be largely unaware that factors other than their ambitions are guiding their behaviours.
Most people won't have a nuanced experience of their dopamine or serotonin levels and may not be 'self-aware', of increasingly impulsive, socialised behaviours. A state which has similarities to being drunk. Despite high intelligence, anyone experiencing a dopamine hit, may begin to make irrational choices relating to crowd conformity, to grow their audience. Sometimes, these choices may irreparably harm a reputation.
why this happens.
In the field of neuroscience, the social brain is a collective symbiosis, formed by several regions of the brain working together in synergistically through biochemical, bioelectrical and biomechanical cohesion, in relation to the physical brain response to external stimulus.
Clinical psychology and neuroscience teaches us that the human brain is all about reward.
Dopamine is the main neurotransmitter.
What this means, is that a person addicted to social stimulus,
will seek by any means, to re-stimulate their social brain.
They may "fall in love" with the mechanism which facilitates
social intercourse, behaving like a social addict.
This is however a false signal.
I see this in advertising all the time.
A thought leader sees a peer with large audience numbers, social conformity kicks in and the thought leader thinks to be successful, they must mimic those large audience numbers to become relevant.
Yet commercially, the thought leader may not be successful in conversions of those numbers to meaningful, valued actions. In fact, having a large audience makes it very much harder to filter zombie followers and drill down to find the real customer.
This is the case with most hype based activities.
Which is why I don't pursue hype, ever.
Instead I build very slowly, but surely.
Sustainable, authentic networks.
Based on quality,