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December 3, 2021

Social media addiction - how it changes your brain, with Luke Burgis
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Up next ►► How social media changes identity, personality, memory | Parker Posey | Big Think youtu.be/VHEfCSHZfs8

By definition, mimetic desire means that we're adopting another person's desire as the own, usually without even realizing that we're doing it. Social media has given millions of mimetic models that we now have to contend with. Some people have gone from having 10 mimetic models to now having thousands, and we haven't quite come to grips as a culture with what that means for the mental and emotional health.

All desire comes from feeling like we lack something, which can bring into a dangerous, vicious habit because there will always be another model to find. We have to choose the models wisely whether they are famous influencers across the globe or the closest friends. We also have to know when the model is inflaming with the desire for something that's going to bring real fulfillment or whether it's going to bring a dopamine hit or allow to fantasize about a life that we'll probably never have.

All desires are modeled for 24 hours a day, billions of them, and we need to understand the mimetic landscape of social media, or else we'll become completely controlled by it.

Read the video transcript: bigthink.com/series/explain-it-like-im-smart/social-media-addiction/


About Luke Burgis:
Luke Burgis is a veteran entrepreneur and author. He’s the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC, and the founder of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator that invests in people, art, and technology that contribute to a healthy human ecology. Luke studied business at NYU Stern before doing graduate work in philosophy and earning an S.T.B. in Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He’s the author of the book Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, which popularized the work of cultural anthropologist René Girard. He lives with his wife, Claire, in the DC area.


Read more of the stories on social media addiction:
Profile of a social media addict: Do you fit the description?
Psychology, Social Media Addiction, and the Element of Surprise
Tech hack: These 4 steps will make your phone less distracting
►► bigthink.com/smart-skills/phone-distraction/


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