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  • Writer's pictureApril Avey Trabucco

LIKE Offers Perspective and Solutions

November 2018 through January 2019, Raising Resilience hosted several sold-out screenings of the IndieFlix Original documentary LIKE – A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON OUR LIVES.

The IndieFlix Original documentary addresses teens and parents with the question, “are you using technology or is it using you?” This post offers some of the top take-aways from the documentary.

The Center for Human Technology states that while Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google have produced products with enormous global benefits, their need to make money has driven a zero-sum race for our finite attention. Forced to outperform competitors, they use increasingly persuasive techniques to keep us glued. They point AI-driven news feeds, content, and notifications at our minds and study our behavior to hook us further.

How does social media addiction work?

Child psychologist Laura Kastner, Ph.D. believes it’s important for parents and kids to know how social media platforms such as Instagram and SnapChat work on a brain-body level.

“The dopamine release associated with people’s favorite technology is extremely powerful,” says Kastner.

We yearn for things that make us feel really good: Instagram feeds, shopping networks, 'belongingness' through Facebook connection — and all those 'likes.'"

Kastner adds that social media platforms prey on another important brain system — the threat network.

“We respond to perceived threats in our environment with anxiety and fear. Marketers know that if you make people afraid, you can sell them solutions. If you are feeling excluded, inadequate, vulnerable or anxious, tech can sell you membership and connection,” says Kastner.

According to Readers Digest, when two German universities joined forces to investigate social networking, researchers discovered that one in three people surveyed felt worse (“lonely, frustrated or angry”) after spending time on Facebook, often due to perceived inadequacies when comparing themselves to friends.

How do you manage and self-regulate?

The film outlined the process. The first step is to understand the issues and how social media is controlling us. The second step is the turn the table and take back control.

The Center for Human Technology suggests the following:

  • Turn off notifications. They appear in red because the color red signals urgency

  • Go grayscale. Color icons give our brains shiny awards every time we unlock them

  • Charge your phone outside the bedroom

  • Don't look at your phone before you go to bed

  • Download apps that help you live without distraction. For ideas go to

  • Keep the conversations going with your family and or in the classroom

  • Go cold turkey and delete all social media

  • Set a good example for your kids and make sure you encourage better social media habits early on

LIKE demonstrated the pros and cons of social media. The film sparked exciting conversations for viewers of all ages. Teens and parents who participated in the post-film discussion and those who provided feedback via survey, walked away feeling inspired to change how they interact with social media.

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