The invention of the internet has effectively transformed the amount of information we are able to take in and the ways our brains should process this information, flooding us all at once every day with stimuli from all over the world. While it is an impressive thing and helps to easily educate us on any topic we desire and can easily be accessed, it can get out of hand, and is not exactly something humans have been used to throughout history, before the rise of the internet.



The rise of technology and the internet has permitted easy, unlimited exposure to unnaturally high levels of dopamine, which we take in daily, likely unknowing the detrimental effect it has on our brains. A statistic from the Eurostat website shows that in 2019, 94% of young people in the European Union made daily use of the internet, compared with 77% for the whole population. The majority of those who use the Internet is young people, who are easily impressionable, therefore making it more dangerous for them to take in such large amounts of information as it influences their development and their thinking.

The constant scrolling through social media creates an almost euphoric stream that keeps the brain ceaselessly occupied and stimulated, so when we finally break free from our hyper-focused attention on our black mirrors, the world seems bland and boring. Surely enough, we can sense this happening, yet wonder why reality just cannot compete with the false, made-up world of what we see on our screens. Like a drug, we are addicted to it, and it plunges us into a whirlpool of false images, false characters, and even falser stories.

We seem to think that social media keeps us connected, so we are never alone, but what we don’t realise is that it is only driving us further away from each other, disillusioning us with these superficial relationships – after all, if technology broke down, would you have just as many ‘friends’? It warps our expectations of reality, which then needlessly takes a toll on mental health.

Admittedly, turning to screens as a way of coping with boredom or mental health issues looks like an easier option. However, the invention of never-ending media which creates unnaturally high dopamine has given us an easy yet counter-productive way to escape reality, as well as letting us see the harsh side of the world, which ironically worsens mental health issues.

While technology does make our lives easier, especially the creation of the Internet, it opens the door to a completely new way of life in many aspects. Modern childhoods consist of looking at screens and constantly being entertained by some form of technology, whereas before children played outside in the real world with other kids. This detrimental change in the socialisation of young people may render them socially inept, causing possible changes in the brain which we may not be aware of as of now, but it is time to think about such changes due to the rapid integration of technology within our lives, where is has now become a necessity to function in modern society.



Social media has effectively become a catalyst of portraying and even normalising corrupt images such as gore, extreme violence, or pornography, which may sometimes be unavoidable on the internet, and no doubt is also viewed by young children – so as they grow up observing such immoral things, their development is altered, and in the long-term causing psychological issues such as depression and anxiety and becoming socially stunted due to the constant immersion within social media and interacting less in the real world.

Social media has also become a place where all kinds of wars and political conflicts have been documented throughout the years since the creation of the Internet, such as the War in Iraq or the Israel-Palestine conflict. This has allowed various propaganda and misinformation to spread all across the digital world, which is a dangerous thing as it makes it easier for people to believe everything they see by allowing different types of coverage to be shown to the public, whether or not it is true.


Presently, our technological devices have even allowed us to depict horrible world events, such as the War in Europe. Whilst before the internet, important world news was received through the papers or radio, nowadays social media allows us to not only see live events such as catastrophic bombings and open fires on apps such as TikTok, but it also allows us to easily engage with one another, including even Tweeting to politicians and world leaders, which was not previously possible. It has become a medium where anyone can easily communicate and engage with even the most high-profile people in the government.

President Vladimir Putin has used social media during his invasion of Ukraine to put across his threatening messages, such as the video of him stating: ‘’You will be pulled into this conflict against your will.’’ which have spread all throughout social media in minutes since their release. With world leaders such as President Putin and President Zelensky using social media to put across their messages and plans of attack/defence, we, users of social media, all simultaneously and vicariously become engaged and immersed in this war through the internet and the power of social media, which in turn allows us to speak out and protest what we believe is right, and we are able to speak for those who are not able to.

With the power that social media does hold, there also come great possible consequences: in the state of war, leaders may decide to limit their citizens with what type of media they are allowed to consume, or even cut off their country’s residents from certain social media services altogether. Ukraine’s Minister of Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov has even requested, through a letter to Apple, to disconnect Russian people from certain Apple services such as the App store.

Social media has allowed Putin and his regime to spread misinformation about Ukraine, for example Putin’s formal adviser, Sergei Markov, said ‘it would not be a war against Ukraine, but to liberate Ukraine…’ from Western ideologies and authority. Additionally, Putin has stated, with a distorted and exaggerated narrative, that Ukraine is governed by neo-Nazis, even though the leader of Ukraine is Jewish. It has become evident that, social media, when used and manipulated in the right way, can alter people’s views and opinions through propaganda and threatening messages, especially during a war, where the stakes are high. As a result, it leaves people in fear, and not knowing what to believe or what is true.

Sonny Thomas, who works at the FDM tech company, talks about the future of social media:

“I would say that the future looks very uncertain, part of me thinks with the introduction of web 3.0 a more de-centralised system can lead to a freer internet, exploiting technologies like the blockchain. However, with all the issues in the world I am worried we could be heading into a more centralised, controlled type of internet. Factors like the environment as well as war could have extremely negative effects leading to a much more monitored internet. Articles such as UK government wanting to ban end-to-end encryption does not raise my confidence and is actually pretty laughable.”

As we use technology and social media as a modern way of interacting with the world, there are underlying truths about our usage of technology which the future will reveal about not only how it fundamentally changes our brains, but also how we rely on it so heavily that we are not prepared for drastic changes in the digital world because of factors like war. We see the effects now, but how will we be able to live in this world having to avoid technology, yet needing it to function in today’s society?