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When we bond face-to-face, the “seeking” emotions trigger the release of a feel-good chemical inside us called dopamine: and we feel energy and pleasure. If we like and trust the person, the calming and “satisfaction” rewards of oxytocin and serotonin are triggered to balance the highly addictive effects of the dopamine.

When we bond online we get a small hit of the “seeking” chemical, dopamine but not the calming and “satisfaction” effects of the other chemistry. For a moment we feel energized but our bodies go unsatisfied and crave more dopamine. Seeking and satisfaction must go hand in hand. Or rather, face-to-face.

A study by psychology students at Covenant College found that the more time young people spend on Facebook, the more likely they are to have lower grades and weaker study habits. Heavy Facebook users show signs of being more gregarious, but they are also more likely to be anxious, hostile, or depressed. Almost a quarter of today’s teens check Facebook more than 10 times a day, according to a 2009 survey by Common Sense Media.

This doesn’t just apply to students it applies to the whole community. There is simply no substitute for the real thing.

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