The Pleasure Center - Deepstash

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No, you're probably not 'addicted' to your smartphone - but you might use it too much

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.

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Not backed up by science
Not backed up by science

While popular, researchers say there is a serious lack of evidence to back up mindfulness apps, even though they are increasingly perceived as proven treatments for mental health. 

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.

The paradox of mindfulness apps

Mindfulness disrupts unhelpful habits. If you get distracted easily or have addictions, mindfulness helps curb these habits. But, in contrast, apps become popular and profitable by getting users lightly addicted to repetitive use. So, can an app really treat addiction, or is it inherently part of the problem? As of now, we don’t know the answer to that question.

Different types of "shopaholics"
  • Compulsive shoppers: Buying when they are feeling emotional distress.
  • Trophy shoppers: They are always looking for the next great item.
  • ...
Socially acceptable

Shopping can be socially acceptable because consumerism is continually pushed on us in the forms of posters, adverts, and signs.

Shopping is also a way of life: You need food and clothing from stores. Even if you try to stop compulsive buying by avoiding the stores in person, there is still a world of online shopping.

Addiction vs compulsion
Addiction describes trying something, becoming emotionally and physically dependent on it, and then becoming psychologically and physically addicted to it. People who struggle with addiction have explained feeling euphoric, elevated, happy, complete, and whole when they partake in their addiction. Compulsion refers to a specific, intense urge to do something. People who struggle with a compulsion explain feeling immense relief and relaxation from completing behaviors that they feel compelled to do.
Neuroplasticity

... is how the brain changes (for better or worse) in response to repeated experience: the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don't use fades away.

Addiction to information
Addiction to information, to the infinite and immediately available mental stimulation the internet offers in the form of information is real and is a perfect outlet for procrastination.
Emotions and procrastination

If you noticed fear or anxiety around starting (or not finishing) a particular task, pay attention. These emotions are a great indicator of why you’re procrastinating.