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To maximize the amount of time that we spend on our phones, designers manipulate our brain chemistry in ways that create addictive behaviors.
Many of the techniques that they use involve a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is central to motivation, and its release is what makes us excited.
Smartphones take advantage of the fact that dopamine is also released in anticipation of a reward.
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Several studies show a relationship between heavy smartphone use and negative effects such as neuroticism, self-esteem, depression, impulsivity, self-identity, empathy, and sleep problems.
Smartphones engage in disruptive behavio...
This action plan should be spread out over the course of 30 days, divided in four weeks:
You’ve probably heard this one before — about how the blue light given off by your phone can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. Your brain needs to identify the absence of blue light in order to produce the sleep hormone melatonin? And because melatonin is what regulates your sleep cycle and tel...
Your attention is what gets sold on Social Media. Every moment we spend on social media is attention spent making money for someone else.
The unfortunate thing about this is that attention is the most valuable thing we have. In other words, we experience that which we pay a...
To hook users on their products, social media apps rely on the power of intermittent reinforcements.
Intermittent reinforcements are variable reinforcements that are always new and surprising.
Smartphones also tap into our fear of missing out (FOMO). ...
Although we’re well aware of the dangers of certain types of tech habits, what could simply checking our phones hurt?
We might not realize it, but each time we compulsively check our phones, we’re programming ourselves to develop a technology addiction, one that can start our innocent and d...
Paying deliberate attention to your moment-to-moment experience also gives you more fodder for memories that don’t involve your phone.
The damage that smartphones do to our brains is reversible. You can improve your concentration, rebuild your attention span and improve your memories.
The first step to taking back your life is to practice mindfulness. Practice paying attention to how your cravings feel emo...
If your brain learns that checking your phone usually results in a reward, it won’t take long before your brain releases dopamine any time it’s reminded of your phone.
The more you practice being mindful, the more it becomes obvious that your brain has a mind of its own
Once you’re aware of the motives behind social media platforms— namely, attention stealing and information gathering—you’ll begin to notice how these motives are incorporated into their designs.
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Dopamine is an important chemical messenger that plays several important roles in the brain and body:
It makes you happy while also keeping you alive & alert. This chemical is part of the brain’s reward system — it’s what gives you pleasurable sensations and keeps you coming back for more. Dopamine is considered to be the motivational cog in this system, and it’s naturally releas...
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