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Not Really an Addiction

Not Really an Addiction

While being glued to smartphones may look like addiction, for most people it is just a behavior pattern, a habit that can be broken.

A set of people may be having a fixation with checking specific apps on the smartphone, like a gambling site or pornography.

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Smartphone Addiction

There are about two billion smartphone users in the world, who check their devices on an average 85 times a day.

Checking your smartphone repeatedly is normally assumed as being addicted, especially in the younger age groups.

Addiction Defined

The World Health Organization defines addiction as physical and behavioral dependence on a substance.

An addiction can create psychological harm and many social problems with family and friends

Obsessive Behaviour, Not Addiction
  • A smartphone is less of a real addiction and more of an obsessive behavior.
  • We get small 'dopamine' hits in our brains, every time we see a social media like or something that provides us with a reward.
  • We often use our smartphones as a weapon against boredom in public transport and boring tasks.
The Pleasure Center

Social media rewards, like the number of views, comments or likes, engage us deeper into the virtual world, providing a sense of enjoyment via the 'dopamine' hits on the brain's pleasure center.

Social media occupies an average of 50% of the time spent each day with our smartphones.

Smartphones may be on the verge of being an addiction for some people, but over time it will become less of a problem as the society will adjust to it, just like it did with computers.

We need to address the compulsive usage of youngsters if their activities are potentially time-wasting or can cause psychological or other health issues in the long run.

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RELATED IDEAS

If a person is depressed, chronically anxious, or having attention problems, he or she may be showing abnormal behaviour and symptoms, and one of those symptoms may be to use technology in a disproportionate way and be affected by it.

If such a person starts to sleep all day, one doesn’t blame the bed and think that it is a ‘bed addiction’. The mistake is that a symptom is being treated with the real problem being neglected.

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IDEAS

Seeking scientific validation

A handful of studies have been published on the efficacy of mindfulness apps, thanks in part to Headspace, one of the most popular apps in the field. In hopes of getting its app scientifically validated, the organization has partnered on more than 60 studies with 35 academic institutions. In the meantime, in lieu of research proving that apps work, marketers tend to draw misleading, but attractive claims.

Instead of defaulting into the low-quality obsessions that leave us wondering where the time has gone, we should cultivate high-quality hobbies that lead to lasting satisfaction.

Re-evaluate your relationship to technology:
  • First allow for a period of abstinence.
  • Follow this by a selective re-introduction of only those tools and technologies that pass a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis than you typically impose.