Are Social Media Buddies Actual?


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Visitor info for ‘Tim Bono- Social Media Buddies’ Podcast Episode

Tim Bono, PhD is a professor at Washington College in St. Louis. He has received a number of instructing awards and 1000’s of scholars have taken his in style programs on the Psychology of Younger Maturity and the Science of Happiness. He’s an knowledgeable guide on psychological well being and happiness for numerous nationwide media retailers, together with CNN, Quick Firm, The Related Press, and several other public radio stations. Happiness 101 (beforehand revealed as When Likes Aren’t Sufficient): Easy Secrets and techniques to Sensible Residing & Nicely-Being is his first e book. 

About The Psych Central Podcast Host

Gabe Howard is an award-winning author and speaker who lives with bipolar dysfunction. He’s the writer of the favored e book, Psychological Sickness is an Asshole and different Observations, out there from Amazon; signed copies are additionally out there instantly from the writer. To be taught extra about Gabe, please go to his web site,

Laptop Generated Transcript for ‘Tim Bono- Social Media Buddies’ Episode

Editor’s Observe: Please be conscious that this transcript has been laptop generated and due to this fact could comprise inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thanks.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Psych Central Podcast, the place visitor consultants within the area of psychology and psychological well being share thought-provoking info utilizing plain, on a regular basis language. Right here’s your host, Gabe Howard.

Gabe Howard: Whats up, everybody, welcome to this week’s episode of The Psych Central Podcast. Calling into the present as we speak, we’ve Dr. Tim Bono, Dr. Bono is a professor at Washington College in St. Louis. He’s an knowledgeable guide on psychological well being and happiness for numerous nationwide media retailers, together with CNN, Quick Firm, The Related Press and several other public radio stations. He’s additionally the writer of the most effective promoting e book, Happiness 101. Dr. Bono, welcome to the present.

Dr. Tim Bono: Thanks for having me. It’s my pleasure to be right here.

Gabe Howard: Nicely, we’re very excited. Clearly, social media is in every single place. Social media is right here to remain, why do you assume that it’s such a scorching matter?

Dr. Tim Bono: Nicely, I believe a part of the explanation it’s turn into a scorching matter is as a result of it has turn into so pervasive within the tradition. When you take a look at the stats from the Pew Analysis Group or different teams that gather information on this, an overwhelmingly giant variety of persons are on social media and are utilizing it incessantly. And it’s additionally one thing that’s comparatively new. And so with one thing that has turn into a lot part of our tradition and our daily manner of interacting with each other, that has posed a query to many individuals of to what extent is that this truly affecting us and is it having an influence on different issues which might be occurring, reminiscent of rising charges of despair and nervousness and different types of psychological misery? We all know that each of these have been rising concurrently over the past decade. And the query is, properly, is one in every of them inflicting the opposite? And I believe that lots of people have turn into inquisitive about that.

Gabe Howard: One of many issues that I at all times take into consideration at any time when these conversations crop up within the media is that it looks like each new factor is unhealthy for us. I bear in mind when the

Web first began, I’m that age, so I bear in mind earlier than the Web after which after the Web. So the Web begins and the very first thing that everyone talks about is, oh, that is going to attach us like by no means earlier than. That is great. After which it solely took a couple of months earlier than all people was like, the Web is horrible. There’s, it’s simply full of pornography and combating. And this was all earlier than social media. After which all people hated the Web. Now the Web is again to being highly effective and social media is what we hate. Do you assume that that is only a development, only a theme that every thing new at first is thrilling and good after which instantly turns into unhealthy after which it’ll stability out?

Dr. Tim Bono: It’s the character of virtually something on the planet that nothing is fully good or fully unhealthy, and infrequently what captures our consideration initially is the novelty and the thrilling elements and all of the actually cool options of one thing. However inevitably, over time, we come to comprehend that it additionally comes with some damaging issues if it’s not used appropriately. So, yeah, I do assume that originally our consideration is drawn to the optimistic issues, however it’s identical to anything, as you say, with the Web and even 100 years in the past or extra when vehicles first got here onto the scene, they have been initially this actually cool approach to join folks and do what you are promoting extra effectively and extra successfully. However we realized, oh, wait a second, if vehicles usually are not used underneath the suitable situations and the suitable circumstances, they will truly be actually dangerous. So the answer has by no means been, OK, let’s do away with this factor. Let’s do away with the Web or let’s do away with vehicles. However let’s take into consideration be smart shoppers of this. And I believe that that’s the place we’re at in relation to social media. I don’t know of any psychologists who’re saying, let’s do away with social media, however as a substitute let’s carry consciousness to the truth that if it’s not used appropriately, it may have some dangerous results on us and it’s worthwhile for us to carry consideration to these issues.

Gabe Howard: I actually like what you’re saying there. Now, one of many different themes that comes up in all of those conversations is social media is unhealthy as a result of it’s addictive. I believe it’s fairly clear that social media could be very addictive. So type of don’t need to talk about whether or not or not it’s addictive. Let’s assume that it’s addictive. Why is it so addictive?

Dr. Tim Bono: A part of the explanation why social media is so addictive is as a result of there’s a lot uncertainty about what content material we’re going to be seeing as quickly as we log in, and that’s one thing that economists and psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized for a very long time, that a part of what makes something addictive is the possibly issue that possibly once we go on, we’re going to see one thing cute or humorous or one thing that’s irritating or irritating, or we’re going to see our loopy uncle’s political put up that’s going to make us actually upset. And it’s the identical motive why folks turn into hooked on the slot machines in Las Vegas, as a result of possibly after they pull the lever of that slot machine, there’s going to be an enormous payoff. However possibly there isn’t. And it’s that uncertainty, that curiosity that retains folks going again extra and

extra. It’s the explanation why folks get addicted to fit machines, however to not merchandising machines. In each circumstances, you’re placing cash in, however it’s the one the place there’s certainty of a reward. You already know that you simply’re going to get that bag of potato chips on the merchandising machine, however you don’t know if you happen to’re going to get a reward on the slot machine. And it’s the identical underlying mechanism that retains us going again increasingly to Instagram or Fb or Snapchat, as a result of each time you go online, you don’t know what you’re going to see. Even when we all know intellectually it’s a waste of time that curiosity and the uncertainty retains us going again increasingly.

Gabe Howard: Loads of social media platforms seek advice from your followers as pals, we’ve so many pals on Fb, for instance, is having plenty of pals or followers on social media. Is it the identical as having that many pals in actual life?

Dr. Tim Bono: It’s not likely the identical factor, as a result of for lots of people, they’ll inform you that they don’t even know all of the folks or that they haven’t even met in individual, all the people who find themselves following them or who they’re, quote, pals with on these platforms. We do know that from a psychological perspective, arguably the only strongest predictor of our happiness has to do with the standard, friendships and relationships that we’ve with different folks. However we’re speaking about precise three dimensional individuals who you spend time with and who you develop an genuine relationship with. And on social media, fairly often these relationships are very superficial they usually don’t get a lot past a like or a remark or a share or re tweet or one thing. And that’s not likely the idea of an enduring relationship with somebody who shall be there for you if you happen to’re going by way of a tough time and also you want a shoulder to lean on or if you happen to’re having a extremely good day and also you want somebody to form of aid you lengthen the positivity and share that happiness with fairly often these followers and, quote, relationships on social media are simply too superficial. And it’s way more worthwhile to develop and make investments your effort and time in these relationships which might be with the individuals who you’re interacting with extra meaningfully on a daily foundation.

Gabe Howard: I’m actually not stunned to listen to this, as a result of despite the fact that expertise has made it simpler to speak and join, charges of loneliness and disappointment are rising. Why is that this if we’re extra linked than ever? Why can we really feel farther aside?

Dr. Tim Bono: Yeah, it’s a extremely good query, as a result of we do know that these charges of disappointment and nervousness and isolation have been rising and plenty of it has to do with the truth that the connection that we’re perceiving is just not genuine, that fairly often that sense of connection is predicated on these media personas that we’re crafting on the Web. However that doesn’t essentially correspond to the extra in depth connections that might actually be worthwhile for our sense of happiness and wellbeing. Day after day, the strongest predictor of happiness has to

do with social connection. Nicely, the largest barrier to happiness is social comparability. And we all know that that’s the different piece that the social media platforms has enabled. It’s actually onerous to be completely satisfied if we continually have our head over our shoulder and we’re questioning how can we measure as much as different folks round us or if we continually are full of a way of envy over what different folks have that we ourselves don’t have. And that’s one of many issues we all know that tends to be related to giant quantities of use on social media is that fairly often folks scroll by way of they usually see, oh, this coworker simply acquired a brand new elevate or a promotion or this individual is driving a brand new fancy automobile. These persons are out on this wonderful trip proper now that I might by no means be capable to afford myself. And that sense of envy, that sense of social comparability is, once more, a basic barrier to a way of well-being. And that’s the place we’ve to be cautious in regards to the ways in which we’re utilizing social media. If it’s the start line for what is going to then result in genuine reference to one other individual, nice. Use it for that. But when we’re continually going by way of and we’re solely utilizing it as a way of social comparability, that’s the place it may be problematic.

Gabe Howard: Let’s discuss in regards to the idea of getting on the spot assist from different folks and let’s use the instance of I’m having a foul day and I would like assist from others, is it helpful to put up that misery on social media to simply and rapidly get these responses to get these, you understand, form of digital hugs?

Dr. Tim Bono: It relies upon rather a lot on the character of the misery and the final word response and what that may result in. I believe that there’s a time period now that persons are utilizing referred to as imprecise reserving, the place folks to say in want of prayers or one thing. And you haven’t any thought. Nicely, what is that this imply? Is that this individual truly in misery? Do they want one thing? And so there are some people who find themselves doing that solely as a approach to get consideration. And others, although, will use it as a approach to see, properly, who’s going to succeed in out to me, who then I can observe up with, after which possibly go get lunch with their espresso after which proceed that dialog. So I believe it is dependent upon the character of the misery. When you’re going by way of a particularly tough time, if you happen to’ve endured a significant disaster, these brief, fast little likes or feedback, you may present some momentary reduction. However very seemingly it’s going to be way more vital to speak to anyone, whether or not that could be a educated skilled or simply somebody in your individual private community who you may have a extra in-depth dialog with, as a result of we all know that one of many traits of misery is that these damaging feelings can simply blow issues out of proportion or trigger an additional interval of misery that may be problematic. However the act of speaking by way of that misery, translating that misery into language for an prolonged time frame, that may be a particularly efficient approach to acquire perception and transfer past that misery. However the very fast little feedback and issues from Fb, if it’s one thing severe, I might not advise doing that. I imply, if it’s simply you’re type of having a foul day and also you’ll get a fast choose me up by plenty of feedback, I don’t see any hurt in that. However for the extra severe stuff, no, it’s not essentially an excellent thought to try this on social media. That’s the place you need to depend on that extra genuine, robust social community of precise individuals who you may have a deep relationship with, who you may draw on in that circumstance.

Gabe Howard: We’ll be proper again after these messages.

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Gabe Howard: And we’re again discussing how social media impacts our happiness with Dr. Tim Bono. Let’s say that you simply need to trade an thought. Is it higher to trade that concept in individual or by way of social media?

Dr. Tim Bono: Nicely, once more, I believe it relies upon rather a lot on the actual thought that you simply’re attempting to trade. So if it’s an thought of, hey, does anyone have a suggestion for a roofing firm or, you understand, hey, we want a plumber, and anyone have any strategies that type of low stage stuff go for it? I believe that it’s completely advantageous to try this. However once we’re speaking about one thing as difficult as variations in philosophical ideology or, you understand, with all of the political stuff happening, who’s voting for whom, fairly often when persons are exchanging very controversial and deeply held convictions, that includes a stage of emotional intelligence if you’re attempting to resolve a significant battle the place persons are not seeing eye to eye. And a lot of our capability to trade concepts and to resolve a battle is not only in regards to the phrases which might be exchanged, however it has to do with the non-verbal, you understand, the timing and the tempo of the dialog and vocal intonation and different traits which you could’t get simply from studying the phrases that comprise a person’s ideas. And in order that’s the place if you happen to’re actually stepping into it with anyone significantly better is to satisfy with that individual, you understand, have that dialog one on one so that each one of these different nonverbal which might be so vital to our capability to speak can enter in. And that’s more likely to get you numerous additional versus simply spouting out your concepts after which going again at your leisure to see what the opposite individual has to say. In order that’s not going to essentially result in any good outcomes, particularly if the 2 persons are getting actually heated.

Gabe Howard: I don’t know, that is type of an apart, however that is form of the argument in opposition to attempting to hash out these main points by way of like textual content messages or e-mail as properly. It’s all half and parcel besides with social media. It additionally has the addition of it’s public, not less than the e-mail argument or the texting argument, not less than that solely stays between two folks.

Dr. Tim Bono: Sure, and, you understand, there are all these memes and stuff the place out of the blue two persons are going at it on Fb after which all people else is watching with buckets of popcorn as a result of they’re so entertained by the entire thing.

Gabe Howard: To change gears ever so barely, I’m an enormous proponent of sleep hygiene, and I don’t consider that you need to be in your cell machine earlier than mattress in any respect. I don’t consider you need to use tablets, computer systems, televisions, something in your main bedroom. That’s my stage of. You already know, you’re attempting to get into the zone for sleeping. Even taking part in only a recreation in your cellphone is just too far for me.  However I do know that I’m within the minority and that a lot of the world they use their telephones as their alarm clocks which implies they’re tapping away on the issues moments earlier than going to mattress. What’s your opinion of shopping social media moments earlier than you prove the lights and shut your eyes to fall asleep?

Dr. Tim Bono: Nicely, I perceive why folks do it, and I’ll admit that I’ve been responsible of it myself up to now. I believe you’re precisely proper that most individuals, when it comes to their habits, that’s what they do. However if you happen to ask any researcher, anyone who’s sleep psychology or well being and wellness or sleep hygiene particularly, I believe that there’s usually a consensus that it’s a actually unhealthy thought and it’s a foul thought for a few causes. One, our capability to go to sleep and stay asleep relies fully on the mind’s capability to decelerate. And there are a few the explanation why having a tool simply inches out of your face proper earlier than you’re attempting to go to sleep goes to stop that. One has to do very merely with the sunshine that’s getting into your visible system. When mild enters the visible system, it suppresses the discharge of a hormone referred to as melatonin, and that’s it’s launched in order that we are able to really feel drowsy after which go to sleep and stay asleep. However in case you have all this mild pouring in to your mind, it’s principally sending a sign, hey, it’s daytime, not time for sleep proper now.

Dr. Tim Bono: And that may then forestall you from falling asleep. The opposite motive why it may be problematic to have that machine in entrance of you is that usually it’s concerned with some exercise that’s protecting the mind actually alert. So, for instance, you talked about, you understand, taking part in a recreation that requires a excessive stage of cognitive effort. That could be a surefire approach to hold the mind actually, actually lively. Or generally we’re taking a look at e-mails or we’re taking a look at our calendar for the following day, which could possibly be a supply of tension. If there’s issues arising that which might be going to be nervousness scary or generally it’s scrolling by way of social media and seeing issues that fill us with envy or despair or misery or different issues which might be simply protecting the mind actually lively between the sunshine and the content material of what we’re doing. It could possibly form of lead into this vicious cycle the place then we don’t get good sleep the following day. And so then we’re on edge. We are able to’t give attention to our work as properly the following day. And it simply type of creates a spiral impact that solely will get worse and worse over time.

Gabe Howard: Dr. Bono, we’re nearing the top of the present, so I’ve the large query. Let’s say that an individual finds that social media is negatively impacting their psychological well being. What are some behaviors that truly could make them happier?

Dr. Tim Bono: Positive, properly, there are plenty of findings from the behavioral sciences which were proven to be very efficient, simply very small behaviors that we are able to incorporate. As you talked about, I wrote a e book that gives type of an outline of plenty of these, however a couple of of my favourite actions must do very merely with the follow of gratitude. You already know, we talked earlier in regards to the influence of social comparability on our well-being and the way a lot that may be a detriment to us. Nicely, the antidote to social comparability is the act of gratitude, as a result of as a substitute of getting caught up in what different folks have or how we want our lives could possibly be completely different, the follow of gratitude is basically inserting emphasis on the great issues that exist already in our lives, however that we would merely have overpassed. And research after research is exhibiting that individuals who spend only a couple minutes per week specializing in good issues of their lives present will increase in how they really feel about their lives. Total, they report extra optimism about what’s to come back sooner or later. They even get sick much less usually.

Dr. Tim Bono: So there are plenty of advantages, simply, you understand, possibly as soon as per week or so to sit down down and assume, OK, what are some good issues in my life that I may need overpassed? And that straightforward follow of gratitude can actually go a great distance. Just a few of the opposite quite simple behaviors must do with getting evening’s sleep frequently. We talked in regards to the significance of that. The mind may be very lively once we’re sleeping and does rather a lot to strengthen neural circuits that play out in emotion regulation. Train is one other one which’s vital to prioritize not less than a few days per week. We wish 30 minutes of fine cardiovascular exercise that releases neurotransmitters which might be basically the mind’s really feel good chemical substances. And the opposite one which I’d say is basically vital is prosocial habits. Get entangled in the neighborhood, discover one thing that’s vital to you, that means that you can really feel a way of connection to different folks. And that sense of connection to different folks is, once more, foundational for a way of well-being.

Gabe Howard: Thanks a lot for agreeing to be right here. The place can people discover you and your e book to be taught extra?

Dr. Tim Bono: The e book is obtainable on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or many different native e book distributors. The title is Happiness 101: Easy Secrets and techniques to Sensible Residing and Nicely-Being. And I’ve a college webpage at Washington College in St. Louis. And if you happen to Google my identify, you’ll discover extra details about the type of work that I do and the concepts in my e book.

Gabe Howard: Very cool, I hope all people grabs your e book. Now, I perceive that the e book had a reputation change as properly. What was the earlier identify of Happiness 101?

Dr. Tim Bono: When the e book first got here out in hardcover in 2018, it was referred to as When Likes Aren’t Sufficient, A Crash Course within the Science of Happiness. And the e book partly offers with social media and talks in regards to the influence it has on us and easy ways in which we are able to interact in different behaviors which might be a stronger predictor of our happiness. However when the e book was re-released earlier this yr, they determined to offer it a unique title. And that new title is Happiness 101.

Gabe Howard: Great. Nicely, thanks once more for being right here and pay attention up, all people, thanks for listening. And I hope you bought rather a lot out of the present. When you did, please subscribe, charge, and evaluation wherever you downloaded this podcast. And we’ve our personal Fb group. It’s very non-public. It’s very unique. And I’m inviting you personally. Head over to and it’ll take you proper there. And bear in mind, you will get one week of free, handy, inexpensive, non-public on-line counseling any time anyplace, just by visiting And we are going to see all people subsequent week.

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