Anyone who has ever “gone viral” might tell you it’s a wild experience. Of course, everyone has their own definition of what this means but in general, “virality” is much different and “usually lasts for longer than the basic length of a normal ‘like’ experience on any given day.”
Addiction specialist, Dr. Courtney Tracy explains it as “a long party in your mind. Instead of one good song and a drink, for example, it’s like an all-night concert with an open bar and great drinks that we can’t get enough of.”
Going viral is perhaps the highest level of popularity and relevance one can achieve on social media. While we don’t fully understand what the experience does to our brains since there hasn’t been tons of research done. We do know is that receiving any kind of recognition on social media releases dopamine in our brains. In other words, lots of social media attention is like a high or a buzz that can be very addictive.
This happens to everyone but influencers or those who have gone viral more than once are more susceptible to the effects. And once we start planning content with the intent to go viral, that’s when we could really be doing more harm than good.
The bottom line? If we use social media in search of validation or recognition, and we don’t achieve it, we feel disappointed in ourselves. Let go of the need to create viral content and just create!
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