I have a question made of four aspects on addiction and dopamine neurobiology.

1. I'm currently wondering whether the addictive potential of social media can be quantified. I'm aware it probably depends on the individual, but I would think an estimate is possible; for example, hardcore drugs may be more objectively more addictive than a sugary snack.

2. I'm also wondering if I'm correct in assuming that, in addiction, the diminution of dopamine receptors would render all activities (aside the addiction itself) less pleasurable. Is this the case?

3. Finally, I'm wondering if the availability of more receptors of dopamine would permit sustained release of this neurotransmitter over time. I.e. several short amounts of dopamine from natural sources would be more 'optimal' than a massive burst at one given time?

4. Finally, I'm wondering if I'm completely off track given Berridge's 'wanting' versus 'liking' distinction, where dopamine mediates wanting and opioids mediate liking. Would pleasure here occur from opioids rather than dopamine?

Thank you

  • $\begingroup$ While SE isn't social media per se I've asked about 1,500 questions in SE, and I could probably reconstruct a metric for total hours spent if I applied some algorithm to the times and clusterings of all my posts and comments. I fear what the results would show! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ One aspect of social media is the infinite or bottomless scroll. You scroll down looking for more, and there is never an end. I am now looking for the comments by a developer who mentioned that they'd invented it and suggested it was not necessarily a good thing after all. I believe the context was the addictive nature of social media. I think this is relevant because scroll-time or "scroll distance" is quantifiable, and so this may have actually been used as a measurement, and so might work as a search term looking for published works on social media addictiveness (continued) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ (cont.) analogous to the mouses repeated lever-pushing patterns when it delivered pellets verses delivering small signals to certain locations in the brain related to pleasure/reward. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 2:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. You have 4 fairly big questions in one here and it would be better if you asked them in separate questions. When you separate these questions, although you mentioned Berridge's 'wanting vs liking', can you also please provide details of what you have read on social media addiction in comparison to drug addiction? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 5:37


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