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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.


Barry, E. (2023, January 3). Social Media Use Is Linked to Brain Changes in Teens, Research Finds. The New York Times.

  • Teens who checked social media more frequently were more sensitive to peer rewards and peer feedback
  • In adolescence the brain wants to be with friends and peers, which may drive the use of social media
  • Those who checked social media more frequently had more activity in areas involved in ; reward processing, regulation, risk taking and control
  • Scientist feel this could be adaptive (connecting and communicating more with others) or maladaptive (not meeting social needs potentially causing anxiety and depression) and this isn’t a good or bad thing
  • Scientists don't currently know why this is (were people who check social media more frequently just more extroverted? etc.)  or to what extent.
  • Some people’s brains may be more vulnerable to want to check social media more frequently
  • There is a range of outcomes from social media use; some studies find no connection between social media use and mental illness while some do, a study found teens in the LGBTQ+ felt supported and validated on social media but it also exposed them to hateful messages
  • This article connects with course content as it examines how technology and social media use is affected or is affecting young people and the brain changes that are being seen
  • This article also takes a relatively neutral stance, that social media could be beneficial or it could be harmful, and that there are different levels of social media use which may be associated with different outcomes, but that social media is a part of our current society
  • This is clinically relevant as it helps to understand that there may be actual brain changes occurring due to social media use which helps to understand the impact it is having on people, allowing society to act accordingly
  • It is also relevant to understand why people may feel so connected to social media and technology as they are receiving rewards or benefits from it and that there may be benefits from some social media use at certain durations
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