Short films are becoming more popular since users who are addicted to social media have less time to devote to paying attention to various aspects of their environment. In 2012, Vine was the first platform to include the format into its operations. People were able to create and distribute films that were just six seconds long, which altered the way that people viewed videos on the internet.
Short videos like Tiktok and Reels have figured out how to keep people interested in what social media influencers post on the platform. Tiktok was very popular in India, but it was shut down, and soon after that, Instagram Reels and other platforms like it popped up. Comparing Reels to IGTV, Stories, or Feed has shown that users are much more engaged with them. People act badly when they are exposed to this kind of addictive content without control. Experts on health strongly recommend using it in moderation.
What Makes short videos so addictive?
Before we realize it, we often find ourselves aimlessly scrolling through content for a variety of reasons.
Easily Taking in Information
The social media sites try to make it as easy as possible to view content. “Infinite scroll” is the name of the method that these platforms use to do this. Aza Raskin made the endless scroll in 2006, which is now used by all social networking apps. As we use these apps more and more, scrolling will feel more natural. Mr. Raskin said, “You just keep scrolling if you don’t give your brain time to catch up with your gut.”
They also use the “autoplay” feature to make the experience easier. The video starts playing as soon as we press the button, and we are immediately drawn in.
Effective and Reactionary
Reels, Shorts, and TikToks are full of interesting videos, memes, and trendy, happy clips. Finding out about a new trend from an influencer we like gives us the dopamine rush our brain needs. It makes your brain react the same way it does when you win a bet or the lottery. It is like finding gold when you find a hot video.
Also, the dopamine hit has become much shorter, lasting no more than one minute for Shorts and 30 seconds for TikTok and Reels. Then, our brains start to need dopamine, so we check our social media pages on our phones out of habit and spend hours doing it.
Offers a Chance to Get Away from the World
In the real world, there are real problems, which makes our brains feel more conflicted. Whereas Reels, TikTok, and Shorts provide an escape from reality and reinforce the “feel good” motion of the constantly scrolling thumb with the dopamine hit. No one is talking about global problems. Instead, everyone is smiling, looking beautiful, and dancing to a happy song.
Algorithms for Instagram and YouTube favor reels and short films
Reels and Shorts are fairly new to social media sites, and they also make it easier for people to talk to each other. Instagram and Youtube’s algorithms are putting more emphasis on it because it keeps people on their platforms for longer, which brings in money. The “Explore” section of the site makes it easy to find Reels, and the homepage of YouTube also has Shorts. They sort of scream for our attention, and we gladly pay attention.
Social media apps often suggest to users the content with which they interact most often to keep them interested.
Many know that too much time spent on social media apps is bad for our health.
It is possible to become proficient in a new language or instrument in a matter of weeks or even months. Dopamine is a chemical that our brains need, but we can only acquire it when we achieve a particular objective first. On the other hand, you may locate the same material in a matter of minutes on apps such as TikTok, Reels, and Shorts. Because of this, our routines have been altered, and now we find ourselves checking our phones practically instinctively.
On social media sites, there are a lot of things to look at. This makes it easier for us to take in and understand information. Because of this, we take in way too much shallow information and don’t look into anything in depth. These forms of entertainment are devoid of tools that promote critical thinking. “Deep thinking” is an important way to keep your brain in good shape. This situation is like how brain cells lose their shape and function as people get older.
“We have to cultivate a style of thinking that is exclusive to us that we are able to regulate. These brain processes are now being driven for us by social media, which researchers warn may have significant implications for our minds.
Persistent unhappiness and changed goals
Researchers found that 47% of 12- to 19-year-olds got their social, professional, sexual, and physical goals from Instagram. If we don’t reach these goals, things will go downhill from there. Also, Professor John Gabrieli says that people are less able to deal with hard situations when they are exposed to a lot of negative interactions on social media.
Not to mention the well-known problems with social media and short videos, like narcissistic tendencies, skewed ways of measuring self-worth, and a focus on taking pictures of events instead of living in the moment.
Numerous mental health concerns have been connected to increased social media use. Anxiety, self-doubt, depression, and body image problems have highlighted increasing social media use as a significant influence.
The ordinary human’s attention span has already decreased as a result of his or her continued usage of social media sites. This reduction will continue as consumption increases.
Remember, internet users, that these 15-second movies may seem innocent, but they may lead to a variety of issues. Yes, it is hard to avoid these platforms, but we must find a method to detox, detach, and reconnect with the real world.