To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Psychologist issues warning over ‘popcorn brain’ from dangerous scrolling habits

Psychologist issues warning over ‘popcorn brain’ from dangerous scrolling habits

Our social media obsession could be having a negative impact on our brain chemistry.

If you have the attention span of a goldfish, it might not actually be your fault.

The fact you can't seem to focus on one thing for more than five seconds could actually be due to your pesky smartphone - specifically the social media apps we spend our days scrolling through.

According to experts, our penchant for doomscrolling is leading to something called 'popcorn brain' - which sounds a whole lot more delicious than it actually is.

Maria Korneeva / Getty

"Popcorn brain refers to the tendency for our attention and focus to jump quickly from one thing to another, like popping corn kernels," clinical psychologist Dr Daniel Glazer told

This isn't a new psychological term - it was coined by University of Washington researcher David Levy back in 2011 - but it's becoming an increasing concern, as we really feel the impact of our hyper-online existence.

And something really does seem to be decimating our attention spans.

Dr. Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, told CNN last year: “In 2004, we measured the average attention on a screen to be two-and-a-half minutes. Some years later, we found attention spans to be about 75 seconds. Now we find people can only pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds.”

Even worse - if our goldfish-like attention is diverted, it can take a whole lot of time to recover.

Mark continued: "In fact, our research shows it takes 25 minutes, 26 seconds, before we go back to the original working sphere or project."

And Glazer told that it could largely be down to our social media scrolling, giving our brains a constant stream of stimuli to contend with.

Xsandra / Getty

"This conditions our brains to get accustomed to and expect frequent distractions and immediate gratification," he said.

"As a result, activities requiring sustained concentration like reading, work projects, or in-person conversations become more difficult."

And anyone who's on social media will know it's hard to break out of the cycle - when you find yourself with an idle moment, you can automatically drift towards your favorite app to start scrolling.

So is there any way to become less dependent on social media and get a bit more of your focus back?

Glazer told "Setting designated tech-free times, consciously pausing to focus on a single task, and periodically deleting apps may help regain control,’ he adds.

"The key is approaching social media more intentionally rather than letting it dominate attention on its terms.

"Building in tech-free routines and habits can enable enjoying social media without destroying focus capacity."

Featured Image Credit: Strauss/Curtis/fizkes/Getty