Read the passage carefully and answer the question that follows.

Humans are social animals by nature. To prosper in life, we require the company of others, and the strength of our bonds has a significant influence on our mental health and happiness. Being socially linked to people may help you cope with stress, worry and depression, increase your self-esteem, bring comfort and joy, prevent loneliness, and even add years to your life. On the other hand, a lack of strong social relationships might put your mental and emotional health at in danger. Many of us use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram to locate and communicate with one another in today's society. While each has its own set of advantages, it's vital to realise that social media will never be a substitute for genuine human interaction. In order to trigger the hormones that relieve stress and make you feel happier, healthier, and more optimistic, you must interact with individuals in person. Spending too much time on social media, ironically for a tool supposed to bring people closer together, can instead make you feel more lonely and isolated, and aggravate mental health issues like anxiety and depression. If you're spending too much time on social media and are experiencing emotions of unhappiness, discontent, irritation or loneliness, it's time to re-evaluate your online habits and establish a healthier balance.
Because social media is such a new technology, little study has been done to determine the long-term effects, good or ill, of its use. Multiple studies, however, have linked extensive social media use to an increased risk of melancholy, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm and even suicide ideation. The purpose of social media sites is to capture your interest, keep you online, and keep you checking your screen for updates. It's how businesses generate money. However, much like a gambling addiction or a nicotine, alcohol, or drug addiction, social media use may lead to psychological cravings. When you get a like, a share, or a positive reaction to a post, your brain releases dopamine, the same ‘reward’ chemical that you get after winning at a slot machine, eating chocolate, or smoking a cigarette,for example. The more you're rewarded, the more time you want to spend on social media, even if it has negative consequences in
other areas of your life.

Question 193

What is the purpose of social media sites?

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