- To confront them, it is also key to understand how phenomena such as the FOMO effect, breadcrumbing or love bombing occur.
In less than twenty years, social networks have become crucial elements of social interaction, affecting different areas of daily life, including love relationships, friendships, work, business, among others.
Its penetration into society has been such that, according to Statista data, in 2024 there will be around 5 billion active monthly users from much of Europe, America and Asia.
However, despite their great virtues for connecting people from all over the world, these platforms also have a negative side that is often reflected in excessive use and some effects on mental health, with symptoms of anxiety, depression and other problems. psychological problems such as addiction, low self-esteem and envy.
This is why it is vitally important for experts to know the type of interactions and behavioral patterns that produce these negative emotions, in order to be able to confront them. In fact, some of these phenomena have already been analyzed and identified with a name.
Concepts that define love and social dynamics in networks
Let us remember that with the massive use of new technological devices, both children, adolescents and adults are exposed to situations that can take a toll on their mental health.
In fact, after the pandemic, it has been reported that 70% of young people suffer from anxiety or depression, an alarming fact that reinforces the need for conscious and moderate use of these platforms.
One of the most frequent is Cyber-Bullying, which often takes advantage of the anonymity of networks to harass, intimidate or threaten a person, using private information or inappropriate material. This can be through harassment, which usually occurs through messages that seek to denigrate or insult directly or indirectly, creating rumors or exposing the privacy of the victim. This is where sexting comes in, which is sending one’s own or another person’s pornographic material for the purpose of harassment, control, or revenge.
Another modality is stalking, which is the permanent monitoring of a person in the digital world, so that they are aware of the existing interest in him or her.
- FOMO effect
There is also the FOMO effect (Fear of Missing Out) or fear of missing out, which is a concern associated with the anxiety of not participating in events or experiences enjoyed by others, especially those shared on digital platforms.
It is an uncontrollable desire for permanent connection and active participation in social networks that often drive the excessive use of mobile devices and video game consoles, promoting continuous online interaction.
Breadcrumbing or the delivery of emotional crumbs has become a form of manipulation that affects numerous users of social networks and dating applications.
Such a practice has been identified and studied by experts who define the phenomenon as a pattern of behavior in which a person intermittently shows interest, but does not commit romantically or formally, despite maintaining a constant presence in the digital life of the person. another person.
Its meaning is its literal translation “love bomb”. And it is a practice in which the person gives an overdose of love, gifts, attention and cheesy words that make the other think that he has found his better half.
According to specialists, one of the reasons why love bombing usually works is largely due to the harmful ideas that have arisen from “romantic love”; which can make people think, especially women, that it is possible to find someone who can give you so much love in such a short time, because that is how it usually happens in movies.
The expression ghosting derives from the English term ‘ghost’, or “ghost”, and refers to the action of vanishing without a trace, just as these beings do.
This term is usually used in situations where a love bond is beginning and, although it seems that the relationship is evolving favorably, the other person disappears unexpectedly, “as if the earth had swallowed them.”
How to deal with the negative emotions that these interactions produce
Unicef recommends that to counteract the negative effects of this type of interactions on social networks, it is vitally important:
- Avoid harmful content and interactions: Identifying the emotions generated by what you are seeing and doing on social networks can help establish your personal limits on the amount of time spent on them and for what purpose. One option is to mute or limit content on accounts that may affect you emotionally.
- Stay connected with reality: The line between the online and offline worlds is increasingly blurred and being online for too long can cause problems. It’s important to try to unplug, take a break from social media once in a while, and spend time with friends and family in real life.
- Be aware: It is recommended to stop following or searching for content that causes discomfort and change it to positive content that motivates or informs.