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HEALTHY LIVING

How Social Media Apps Can Keep You Addicted

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How Social Media Apps Keep You Addicted | Fab.ng

Many of us have experienced the struggle of trying to disconnect from our phones, especially from social media apps, only to find ourselves pulled back in constantly. We might mindlessly switch between different apps, scroll through social media feeds, and engage in online discussions.

This cycle can consume our time, leaving us feeling like we’ve spent an entire day glued to the screen, from waking up to falling asleep.

But why does this happen? What makes us crave the latest online trends and conversations, constantly seeking updates and engaging in them?

Social media platforms employ clever systems called algorithms to keep users engaged and coming back for more. These algorithms are like invisible analysts, studying the way you use the platform. They pay close attention to your actions, such as the things you like, comment on, share, and how long you spend looking at specific posts.

Based on this information, the algorithms create a personalised feed just for you. They organise the content you see in a way that they think will be most interesting to you, keeping you scrolling and interacting. This is all done with one main goal: to keep you using the platform as much as possible.

The longer you stay engaged, the more opportunities there are for you to see advertisements and interact with content that benefits the platform. As you continue to use the platform and interact with content, the algorithms learn even more about your preferences, constantly refining your personalised feed to keep you hooked.

How Social Media Apps Keep You Addicted | Fab.ng

Our brains and how they work are a big reason why social media is so addictive, and it’s hard to put our phones down.

Think of social media like a surprise box. You never know what you’re going to find when you open it. Maybe you’ll see funny pictures, interesting news, or a message from a friend.

This mystery is part of what makes social media so addictive. The surprise keeps you coming back for more, even if you don’t know what you’ll get.

Some apps, like Instagram, have a feature called “infinite scrolling.” This means that as you scroll down, new content automatically loads onto your screen, so you never reach the end. There’s always something new to see, and you can keep scrolling for as long as you want.

It’s like having an endless stream of information and entertainment at your fingertips. Unlike other things you might look at, like a book or a TV show, social media doesn’t have a natural stopping point. You’re in control of how much time you spend scrolling and what content you choose to see.

When you get a notification or a “like” on your social media post, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine that makes you feel good. This good feeling makes you want to keep using social media to get more of that feeling. This cycle can lead to social media addiction.

How Social Media Apps Keep You Addicted | Fab.ng

Social media companies design their apps to keep you hooked using a theory called the “Hooked Model.” This model says that there are four steps that keep users engaged:

  • Trigger: Something happens (like a notification) that makes you want to check your phone.
  • Action: You open the app and start looking at content.
  • Reward: You get something enjoyable, like seeing a funny video or getting a like on your post. This reward is unpredictable, which keeps you wanting more.
  • Investment: You share something or create content on the app, which makes you feel more invested in using it.

4. The lure of novelty

Human brains naturally crave new things to learn and see. This is why you enjoy exploring new places, trying different foods, and learning new skills. Social media and the internet are like never-ending playgrounds for human brains. They constantly provide you with a fresh flow of information, from funny videos and interesting articles to updates from friends and family.

This constant stream of new content keeps the brain stimulated and wanting to explore more, making it easy to spend a lot of time on these platforms.

5. Social connection

Humans naturally desire connection with others. Social media platforms act like online communities, providing a sense of belonging and connection. They allow you to interact and share with friends and family, no matter how far apart you are.

Additionally, social media can connect you with strangers who share similar interests, creating new friendships and expanding your social circles.

6. Fear of missing out (FOMO)

When you spend time offline, you might worry about missing out on something important, like news, updates, or conversations with friends. This fear of missing out can make you feel anxious and cause you to constantly check your phone to stay “in the loop.”

By being mindful of your phone usage, you can make conscious choices about when and how much you engage with social media.

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HEALTHY LIVING

See 4 Reasons Men Prefer To Suffer In Silence

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See Reasons Men Prefer To Suffer In Silence | Fab.ng

Society often sends mixed messages about masculinity. On the one hand, emotions are a fundamental part of the human experience, something everyone shares. Yet, there’s a strange rule book for men when it comes to expressing their feelings. Phrases like “man up” and “don’t cry” become ingrained from a young age, creating a pressure cooker situation. This makes men suffer in silence.

Men are expected to be these emotionless superheroes, bottling things up to avoid being seen as weak. But this bottled-up approach can have serious consequences for men’s mental and emotional well-being.

Here’s a deeper dive into why men might feel pressure to suppress their emotions and suffer in silence:

1. The Myth of Mr. Invincible

Society has constructed a myth of masculinity that revolves around stoicism and emotional detachment. Showing vulnerability or admitting to struggles is seen as a sign of weakness.

This narrative creates a double bind for men. They’re expected to be these invincible protectors and providers, yet they’re expected to do it all without a single crack in the armour.

This emotional repression can lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness, as men may feel unable to connect with others on a deeper level.

2. The Lone Wolf blues

Traditionally, men have been expected to be self-sufficient problem-solvers. The “lone wolf” image is often glorified, portraying men who handle everything on their own as the epitome of strength.

Asking for help is seen as a weakness, pushing men further into isolation when they might really need support. This can prevent men from seeking help for mental health issues, which are just as common in men as they are in women.

3. Macho Misconceptions

Our narrow view of masculinity only allows for a limited range of emotions. It’s okay to be aggressive and competitive, but showing compassion or vulnerability? Not so much. This skewed perception not only limits men’s emotional vocabulary but can also lead to feelings of shame or confusion.

Men might experience a range of emotions but feel pressured to suppress anything that doesn’t fit the narrow definition of “manly.” This can be incredibly damaging to their emotional well-being.

4. The Cycle of Silence

The less men talk about their struggles, the more alone they feel. It’s a vicious cycle where men enforce these impossible standards on each other while also suffering under them.

Seeing other men bottle up their emotions reinforces the idea that this is the only acceptable way to behave. This silence makes it difficult for men to seek help or connect with others on a deeper level.

Breaking free from this silence requires a big cultural shift. We need to redefine strength to include the courage to be vulnerable and seek help when you need it. It’s about changing the conversation, one at a time, and creating a space where men feel comfortable opening up without fear.

True strength lies not in silence but in the courage to be honest about your feelings and connect with others. It won’t happen overnight, but acknowledging the problem is the first step. By understanding and challenging these ideas, we can build a healthier society where men are encouraged to express their full range of emotions.

This not only benefits men but strengthens the social fabric as a whole, fostering stronger connections and a more supportive environment for everyone.

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HEALTHY LIVING

Toothpaste Vs Dental Powder: Which Is Better?

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Toothpaste Vs Dental Powder: Which Is Better? | Fab.ng

Brushing your teeth is super important, but have you ever wondered which cleaning product is best? When it comes to oral hygiene, there are various products available on the market that aim to keep our teeth clean and healthy. However, picking the right cleaning product can be confusing. Two common choices are toothpaste and dental powder. Both products serve the same purpose: to clean teeth and prevent cavities and gum disease. But which is better? Let’s explore the good and not-so-good sides of each to help you pick your perfect match!

Toothpaste Verses Dental Powder

Brushing with toothpaste is a worldwide habit for a reason! This handy paste is packed with cleaning power to fight plaque and food stuck in your teeth. It also contains a superhero ingredient called fluoride, which strengthens your teeth and shields them from cavities. Some kinds of toothpaste contain ingredients that help prevent tartar buildup. Tartar is that hard, crusty stuff that can form on your teeth and irritate your gums.

Toothpaste is available in a wide variety of flavors and formulations, catering to different needs and preferences. It is super convenient! It’s easy to use, found in almost every store, and comes in handy tubes that fit perfectly in your bathroom or travel bag. 

Dental powder is a less common but equally effective alternative to toothpaste. This lesser-known choice packs a punch just like toothpaste, cleaning your teeth with similar scrubbing power and cavity-fighting fluoride. But here’s the good news: dental powder is often free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, making it a more natural option for those concerned about the chemicals found in many toothpaste formulations.

Not only is it potentially better for you, but it’s also kinder to the planet! Dental powder often comes in recyclable packaging, ditching the plastic tubes of toothpaste. Plus, it avoids those tiny plastic microbeads that can harm the environment. And listen up, coffee and wine lovers! Some people swear dental powder works wonders on stains and plaque, leaving your teeth whiter and cleaner than ever.

Benefits and disadvantages of toothpaste and dental powder. 

Toothpaste

The 11 best toothpastes in 2024, according to dentists

Brushing your teeth is a breeze with toothpaste! It’s super easy to use, making those pearly whites sparkle in no time. Plus, it comes in all sorts of fun flavors, from yummy mint to fruity delights.

It is an essential component of a daily oral hygiene routine that helps remove plaque and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Toothpaste contains fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities and keep your teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to decay. It also helps to remineralize weakened tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay. Plus, it’s small and portable, fitting easily in your bathroom cabinet or travel bag.

However, some toothpaste formulations may contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, which can be harmful to your health. These ingredients may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or other adverse effects in some people. Toothpaste can be expensive, especially if you use it regularly. Some people may also experience sensitivity or irritation when using certain toothpaste formulations, which can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. This is usually due to the presence of certain ingredients, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause dryness and irritation of the mouth and gums.

Dental Powder

What Is The History Of Oral Care? – Cirocco Dental Center

Dental powder is made from natural ingredients and is eco-friendly, making it a great choice for those who are conscious of the environmental impact of their dental care routine. One of the main benefits of dental powder is that it does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, which makes it a healthier option for your teeth and gums. Many dental powders also have natural abrasive properties that can help remove surface stains and plaque without damaging the enamel, which is especially beneficial for those who struggle with dental hygiene.

Another advantage of dental powder is that it is more cost-effective in the long run. While toothpaste tubes need to be replaced every few weeks, a small jar of dental powder can last for months. However, there are some disadvantages to using dental powder.

One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is less convenient to use compared to toothpaste. It may not contain fluoride, which is important for preventing cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen and protect your teeth, and it is found in most toothpaste brands. However, not all dental powders contain fluoride. Lastly, dental powder can be harder to find as conveniently as toothpaste, as it is still relatively gaining widespread traction on the market.

Which is better?

So, which is better in the long run—toothpaste or dental powder? The choice between toothpaste and dental powder is a common dilemma that many people face. But it all depends on what you want. If convenience and accessibility are your top priorities, then toothpaste is likely the better option for you. It is widely available, easy to use, and comes in a variety of flavors and formulations to suit different needs. Toothpaste also contains fluoride, which is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and preventing cavities.

However, if you are concerned about the chemicals in many toothpaste formulations and want a more natural and eco-friendly alternative, dental powder may be a better choice. Dental powders are made with natural ingredients like baking soda, clay, and essential oils and are free of harsh chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate and triclosan. They are also more environmentally friendly than regular toothpaste.

Dental powder may be the preferred option if you are looking for a more cost-effective solution that can remove stains and plaque. They are often less expensive than toothpaste and can last longer. You only need a small amount to get the job done.

So, which one wins? There’s no loser here. Toothpaste offers convenience and cavity protection, while dental powder goes natural and is easy on your wallet. The best choice depends on what matters most to you. Just remember, a healthy smile is a happy smile, no matter which product helps you achieve it.

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HEALTHY LIVING

How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep

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How To Get A Better Night's Sleep | Fab.ng

Getting enough sleep is just as important for a healthy lifestyle as eating well and exercising regularly. In fact, we spend roughly a third of our entire lives asleep, highlighting how crucial sleep is for our overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, the recent heatwave plaguing Nigeria has made it difficult for many to catch a good night’s sleep.

While you might not be able to control the weather, there are definitely steps you can take to improve your sleep habits and encourage a more restful night.

The following tips offer simple yet effective strategies to help you achieve better sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

1. Stick to a sleep schedule

Achieving a good night’s sleep is vital for a healthy lifestyle, along with maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Experts recommend adults aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but for a safe and reliable sleep schedule, eight hours is a good target.

A well-rested body is key to feeling energised and active throughout the day. Make sure you prioritise getting eight hours of sleep each night to allow your body to fully recharge.

Here’s a tip to regulate your sleep cycle: try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Consistency helps your body establish a natural sleep-wake rhythm. If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep after 20 minutes of tossing and turning, get out of bed and engage in a calming activity like reading, listening to calming music, or listening to a podcast. This will signal to your body that it’s not quite sleep time yet.

Finally, if you know you won’t be able to get a full eight hours of sleep at night due to unforeseen circumstances, try to catch up on some rest during the day with a short nap. Remember, napping for too long can disrupt your nighttime sleep, so keep it short and sweet.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink before bed

Pay attention to your bedtime snacks and drinks. Don’t hit the hay with an empty stomach, but avoid heavy meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Opt for a lighter option if you feel hungry in the evening.

Skip the stimulants before bed. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol might seem tempting in the evening, but they can wreak havoc on your sleep. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants, and their effects can linger for hours, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Even though alcohol might lull you into sleep initially, it disrupts your sleep cycle later in the night, leading to fragmented sleep and leaving you feeling tired in the morning.

3. Give yourself a room worthy of sleeping

Your bedroom environment plays a big role in getting a good night’s sleep. Aim for a cool, dark, and quiet space. Light exposure in the evenings can make it harder to fall asleep, so consider using room-darkening shades or an eye mask to block out any light.

Similarly, the blue light emitted from electronic devices like phones and laptops can disrupt your sleep cycle. Avoid using these screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

If noise is a concern, earplugs can help muffle distracting sounds. To cool down the room, you can use a fan or air conditioner (depending on the climate). The key is to create a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere that helps you drift off to sleep easily.

4. Limit long daytime naps

Long naps during the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night. To avoid disrupting your nighttime sleep, limit naps to a maximum of one hour. Ideally, try to schedule naps for earlier in the day. This is why most parents avoid letting their kids sleep around 6-7 pm; they know it will affect their nighttime rest.

If you work night shifts and need to nap late in the day to catch up on sleep, that’s perfectly understandable. However, try to adjust your schedule whenever possible to avoid napping too close to bedtime.

Regular physical activity is fantastic for your overall health and well-being, and it can even improve your sleep quality. However, avoid strenuous exercise too close to bedtime, as it can energise you and make it harder to fall asleep.

5. Avoid overthinking before bedtime

A relaxed mind is key to a good night’s sleep. If worries and anxieties are swirling around in your head, it can be difficult to drift off. Here are some tips to help you clear your mind and prepare for sleep:

  • Unburden your mind: Take a few minutes before bed to jot down any worries or concerns that are on your mind. Putting them on paper can help you let go of them for the night, knowing you can address them tomorrow.
  • Embrace relaxation techniques: Consider incorporating stress management practices like meditation, yoga, or light exercise into your evening routine. These activities can help calm your mind and body, preparing you for sleep.
  • Find your calm zone: Soothing music or calming podcasts can also be helpful tools for quieting your mind and promoting relaxation before bed.
  • Don’t bottle it up: If you find yourself lying in bed dwelling on worries, it’s best to address them. Get out of bed, jot down your thoughts, or try a relaxation technique. Going to sleep with a racing mind will only make it harder to fall asleep.

6. Contact your healthcare provider

Even if you follow all these tips for a good night’s sleep, there might still be times when you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep consistently. If this becomes a regular problem, it’s important to talk to your doctor.

They can help identify any underlying medical conditions that might be affecting your sleep and recommend the best course of treatment to finally get you the restful sleep you deserve.

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