Each of us struggles between working on a project or an assignment and watching our favourite TV-show, when you have free time. Some of us struggle more, while some struggle less, but we all do.
It is hard to concentrate on the long-term work although the benefits of completing the latter outweigh the short-term joy of putting it off.
The opposite of instant gratification is delayed gratification. The decision to give up immediate wants in order to gain what you need later on. This decision is usually wiser, but still people struggle to fight with short-term desires.
What are needs and wants?
Wants and needs are words which are clearly understood but still interchanged. It all depends on our motivations and desires. The common meaning of want is to have a desire to possess or do(something) or wish for, whereas need means to require something because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable. The most important thing is that every person decides what is essential for him or her.
Low wanthigh need things are trickiest. They are not apparent, but they might bring to the bigger outcomes, for example, working on an assignment in university helps you to graduate successfully.
High wantlow need items are met most often and considered vital. The things in this quadrant are those we question “do we really need that?” These items are attractive but redundant.
Things in high wanthigh need show the ideal outline. When both wants and needs are aligned, we have high motivation to follow this goal or prioritize these items. However, it is important to recognize our true wants and true needs.
Using social media also activates the brain’s reward center by releasing dopamine, linked to pleasurable activities. Social media are designed to be addictive and highly associated with anxiety and depression and sometimes physical disorders.
So, what makes users come back to social media even if it is harmful for their health?
“When the outcome is unpredictable, the behavior is more likely to repeat,” Jacqueline Sperling, PhD, a psychologist at McLean Hospital, says. “Think of a slot machine: if game players knew they never were going to get money by playing the game, then they never would play. The idea of a potential future reward keeps the machines in use. The same goes for social media sites. One does not know how many likes a picture will get, who will ‘like’ the picture, and when the picture will receive likes. The unknown outcome and the possibility of a desired outcome can keep users engaged with the sites.”
Social media is widely used to feel a sense of belonging and to boost self-esteem. People post various content to receive positive feedback. The potential reward is obvious and that makes social media addictive and challenging to quit.
However, the advantages of using social media are not as high as they thought to be. For example, social media users are exposed to frequent comparisons such as “Did I get as many likes as others did?”, “Why didn't one like my post?” and etc. They are looking for proof of their validity on the Internet, instead of making up real connections.
The use of social media can affect users' physical condition. Scientists claim that anxiety and depression can turn into nausea, tremors, headaches and muscle tension. Therefore, controlling social media usage is very important for a better life.