So you wanna know why people are addicted to their phones? Well it has to do with the way habits are formed in the brain. That device you are staring at has just as must addictive power as heroin and for some people the withdrawals are even the same!
Now don’t think I’m preaching from my high horse, I’m not. I’m just as guilty as the rest of you but I have actually researched why it’s so hard for people to put down the phones.
The first thing to know is that your smart phones are actually rewiring your brain in many many different ways. Think about what it does to your critical thinking to have the supposed answer to whatever question you have right at your fingertips. And, with instant access to so many pages of people saying the same thing on whatever topic you happen to be searching for, and your critical reasoning goes right out the fackin’ window. After all if you see 18 pages all saying similar things then that must be the truth.
The other thing is that the screen is replacing your internal visual processes. Your ability to actually create and hold pictures in your head weakens and in fact you develop a type of ADHD where you just go from one thing to another. This is one of the main reasons why smartphones are so addictive.
The thing that makes smartphones so much worse than just logging onto the internet and surfing is because of the ease of access and the way you access the internet with your phone. There is a little bit of a buffer to the addictive-ness of the internet from a desktop because of the fact that you have to sit down, turn on the computer and then surf. Sure most of the time it’s just moving the mouse and the screen comes on but you still have to sit down and you can’t take the screen with you.
With the smartphones this ain’t so. You take it out of your pocket wherever you are at, click a button or tap the screen and now you are surfing. You are swiping the pages and your brain is getting tons of visual information second after second. This is the dangerous part.Your brain forms a habit mostly through repetition. The more reps you get the faster the habit will form in your subconscious. You will log onto the web 10 – 40 times more often with your phone than with your computer. Now also for a habit to form you have to have a reward. Just like an addict gets the rush of endorphines from the drugs so does your brain from the information you are surfing.
Dopamine is actually released when your brain thinks it’s learning new info. And the really bad thing is that your brain will prime you to engage in a habit by releasing dopamine in anticipation of engaging your addictive habit and at the same time will release stress hormones that will make you feel anxious, stressed, and uncomfortable until you actually partake in the habit. That habit is flicking through page after page, post after post, and video after video.
You are just getting rush after rush and just like an addict you keep needing more and more. It’s really fucking horrible when you think about it and you can see it in practically everyone everywhere, even when they are fucking driving or walking down the sidewalk.
Now I don’t know if these things were designed with that intention but I wouldn’t put it past some really smart scientists who have done thousands of hours of experiments on monkeys to then make a device to dumb us down. The clue should be that they are called smart phones. It’s kind of like the Patriot Act, the last thing the Patriot Act does is give us more Freedom.
So, do yourself a favor and start unplugging. Part of the reason you are feeling so depressed when you are on Facebook isn’t because you are doing worse than the people you went to high school with, or that you are mad at all the idiot political posts, or horrible news stories…no it’s most likely due to the fact that you are burning out your pleasure receptors in your brain by overloading it with dopamine and other endorphines.
Time to cut down on your Facebook Time. I know I am.