The Impact of Social Media Apps on Sleep Patterns and Community Quality



Jun 30, 20233 min read


The Impact of Social Media Apps on Sleep Patterns and Community Quality


In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. However, it is important to understand the potential consequences of excessive social media use, especially when it comes to sleep patterns and community quality. This article explores the impact of social media apps on sleep, as well as the phenomenon known as the Evaporative Cooling Effect in online communities.

The Impact of Social Media Apps on Sleep Patterns:

A recent infographic titled "Which Social Media Apps Have the Biggest Impact on Sleep Patterns?" sheds light on the effects of different apps on our sleep cycles. Surprisingly, TikTok emerges as the worst offender, with users spending just 14% of their sleep cycle in the vital REM phase when exposed to the app before bedtime. The primary culprit behind this disruption is the blue light emitted by phone screens. However, a simple solution is to switch to dark mode in your apps, which can reduce the impact of blue light on your sleep.

The Evaporative Cooling Effect in Online Communities:

The Evaporative Cooling Effect is a concept that describes the phenomenon of high-value contributors leaving a community when they no longer feel they are gaining something from it. As new members join, the dilution of high-quality contributors leads to a decrease in the overall quality of the community. This trend is inevitable during the expansion of a community, but there are strategies to slow it down.

Strategies to Slow Down the Evaporative Cooling Effect:

  • 1. Implement Social Gating: Social Gating is a powerful force that helps maintain the quality of a community. By preventing users without relevant basic knowledge from entering the community, or by canceling inactive user accounts, the community can ensure that only engaged and knowledgeable individuals are part of it.
  • 2. Charge for Membership: Another effective method for maintaining community quality is to charge a fee for membership. By doing so, only those who are genuinely interested and committed to the community will be willing to pay, ensuring a higher level of engagement and dedication among members.
  • 3. Recognize and Reward Special Contributors: Providing high status to special contributors within the community can also slow down the Evaporative Cooling Effect. By acknowledging and rewarding their contributions, these individuals are more likely to stay engaged and continue adding value to the community.

Balancing Scalability and Stability in Online Communities:

Communities with a plaza-like structure, where information is public and easily accessible, are more scalable. However, this scalability often leads to a higher susceptibility to the Evaporative Cooling Effect. On the other hand, communities with a warren-like structure, where content is personalized and private, are not as scalable but tend to be more stable. Depending on the goals of the community, finding the right balance between scalability and stability is essential.


As social media continues to play a significant role in our lives, it is important to be aware of its impact on sleep patterns and online communities. Taking steps to minimize blue light exposure before bedtime, implementing strategies to slow down the Evaporative Cooling Effect, and finding the right balance between scalability and stability can all contribute to a healthier and more vibrant digital landscape. By being mindful of our social media usage and making conscious choices, we can create a more positive and enriching online experience for ourselves and others.


  1. "Which Social Media Apps Have the Biggest Impact on Sleep Patterns? [Infographic]", (Glasp)
  2. "The Evaporative Cooling Effect in Social Network : Networks Course blog for INFO 2040/CS 2850/Econ 2040/SOC 2090", (Glasp)

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