It's hard to stay focused when your attention span doesn't stretch beyond five minutes. That's one of the effects of social media on the human mind, according to studies taking a close look at how our dependence on 140-character conversations and instant access to information is changing how our collective brains process information. It's also changing your ability to focus.

Aside from the reduced attention span, you are faced with many other social media distractions such as videos, instant messages, status alerts, new tweets, and other things that demand your attention. When you return to your task at hand, it takes you a few minutes to reorient back to what you were doing. Add to this the urge to check your email, see what your Twitter followers are up to, and update your Facebook status, and it's easy to see how productivity can suffer. Most college students use social media for self-promotion or to seek attention. This can be a good thing if it involves looking for work or promoting a blog for a cause.

Even if you think you're immune to the pitfalls of social media overdose, your brain may still be feeling the impact of a little online social engagement here and there. A UCLA study suggests that five hours of Internet surfing is enough to change the way your brain processes information. Take a look at the stats in this infographic and see for yourself. Your five minutes of reading time starts now.

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Effect of Social Media on Human Mind (Infographic)

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