How social media messes with your brain

How social media messes with your brain

On a balmy summer evening in San Francisco, Bridget and her husband were out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Absorbed in the intimate conversation of married people, they didn’t notice the pretty young woman walk in the door behind them until they heard her exclaim, “Bridget!” Bridget (that’s not her real name, by the way) looked up, tried to smile, but couldn’t overcome the confusion in her expression. She had never seen this person before in her life.

Months later, Ellen (a.k.a. “pretty young woman”) recalls, “I didn’t even say, ‘Hi!’ I just said her name, like how a toddler sees a dog and says, ‘Dog!’ She stared at me for a second—then I ran away.” The thing is, Ellen isn’t friends with Bridget. They don’t even know each other. “She’s a woman I follow on Instagram,” says Ellen. “My friend and I are obsessed with her; we text each other screenshots and discuss her like we know her.” Months later, Ellen was in fact introduced to Bridget. “She was very nice. I don’t know if she recognized me as her crazy stalker from the restaurant, but I’m still mortified.” Read more 


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