Why Smartphones are as Addictive as Drugs | How to Break Your Phone Addiction-Zakir Ayoub
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Do you know that more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush that's right according to a survey by the mobile marketing association of asia worldwide about 4.8 billion people on a mobile phone while only 4.2 billion on a toothbrush the average time an adult spends on a smartphone is 3 hours 54 minutes a day. Another survey by author Adam Alter revealed that "46 of young adults would rather break a bone than break their phone"
Surprised me too leave me a comment below and tell me how many hours a day you use your smartphone so today we are going to understand the science that makes smart phones as addictive as drugs and in the second part of the Article i will give you seven ideas of how you can break this loop and one bonus tip to take charge of your own powerful brain so let's get going..
Hey there this is Zakir Ayoub CEO of Zakir Ayoub's Study Portal. So what is it that makes smartphones as addictive as drugs let's beep into the human brain imagine playing a game of Pubg or Free Fire and winning a chicken dinner at the end of the match this stimulus of pleasure causes your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced in the ventral tegmental area vta of the brain from the vta it moves to four different areas of the brain the first is the amygdala, the amygdala processes emotions and we feel this happiness or euphoria the second area this dopamine travels to is the hippocampus which is responsible for the formation of memories the hippocampus will remember that game or the chat notification that made you happy and the next time you encounter it you will click on it based on previous experiences of pleasure now this action of clicking is controlled by the third region in the pathway the nucleus accumbens the nucleus accumbens is also called the brain's pleasure center this directs our motor actions and prompts our fingers to keep tapping and finally the dopamine also reaches the prefrontal cortex, the prefrontal cortex is that part of the brain towards the front that is larger in humans than in any other animal it powers our ability to sink plan solve problems and make decisions this area is also responsible for our focus and in response to the dopamine surge it diverts all the attention from the studies that we are supposed to do towards the smartphone.
Now if dopamine is making us happy what's the problem the problem is that dopamine puts your brain into overdrive as a habit forms the brain responds by toning down the impact of dopamine now you need more of your phone to get that same pleasure now excess dopamine also causes the level of serotonin to drop. Serotonin is a hormone responsible for satiety or contentment therefore the more dopamine we get the serotonin levels drop and we are just not satisfied we keep going back to our phone for more and more which leads to addiction before we move on to the algorithm of our smartphone.
I would like to give a shout out to Wani Bushra who left this warm message on our previous Article that got 89 likes from you so if you want a shout out in my next Article leave me a message below. The algorithm don't our brains get bored of playing the same game over and over these apps and games are very clever they have inbuilt techniques to generate novelty like new levels of pubg or new video recommendations on youtube this starts the dopamine loop all over again and it's called a compulsion loop this by the way is the same loop responsible for addiction to cocaine on nicotine. Do you know in the last one year there has been a 55 increase in social media usage and 45 increase in online gaming i want you to share with me how you feel about your phone and why you are so unable to put it down?.
Digital escape room 93 people confess to using their phones to avoid boredom as against reading a book or engaging with other people and 47 millennials admitted that they often use their smartphones with the sole intention of avoiding people around them in fact this behavior has led to some new english words like nomophobia no more phobia which is the fear of being without your cell phone or anxiety which is the constant illusion that your phone is ringing and fabing which is the practice of ignoring the people in front of you to keep checking your mobile do you know any other interesting new words like these and drop them for me in the comment below.
And now for the solutions so how do we stop ourselves from falling down this rabbit hole of mobile addiction? Here are seven solutions to control your device before it starts controlling you from real life to real life.
The search for dopamine outside our phones scientists have found that one hour of meditation increases dopamine by 64 doing half an hour of yoga listening to your favorite songs and getting seven to nine hours of sleep also refuels your body's dopamine and not only dopamine these activities also release serotonin so we feel satisfied and truly happy.
So there are many ways to keep the notifications on your phone off try to disable notifications keep your phone on DND or on zen mode or switch it off when you're not using it you could also uninstall addictive apps like instagram or facebook and use them from your browser instead. I'll share a trick with you switch your phone from color to grayscale colored objects activate the visual areas of the brain these parts of the brain process color and store positive memories associated with bright colors like red and blue in contrast black and white do not have any refreshing memories associated with them and will not keep our attention for long the three two one rule now imagine your productive focused mind to be like this calm lake and each notification is like a stone dropping into the lake. Now if there are drops all around the lake is disturbed it can take a while before you get back to that productive state of mind so how about you check your personal messages only three times a day you use recreational apps which are for videos,etc only twice a day and check your group chats only once a day make your phone a reward for finishing your work for example i will watch one full episode of friends only after i finish revising two chapters five minute challenge did you know that an average user checks their smartphone about 120 times a day most of the time we do this in between two activities for example the five minutes between classes now in these five minutes try alternate activities like meditation some stretches or even a power nap this will help you focus on your next activity Buddha said the trouble is you think you have time one of the most difficult steps in controlling our addiction is to regulate the amount of time that we spend on social media how about you set a daily reminder under your activity on instagram or remind me to take a break under time watched on youtube start with one hour and gradually reduce it to 45 minutes 30 minutes.
And so on my personal trick is to become publicly accountable take a sheet of paper write down your target time and daily usage and stick this paper on your fridge once you realize that all eyes are on you i tend to feel pressurized to stay within the time limit tuck your phone to bed away from you this is the hardest one i struggle to keep my phone in another room when i go to sleep but it's a must do also challenge yourself to complete five small tasks in the morning before you look at your phone once you get into the rhythm of the day you will not spend a lot of time on the phone yourself out of sight out of mind.
Now for the bonus tip bonus tip is phone free living you and your family can demarcate some phone free zones in the house like the dining table or the balcony phone free timings like the evenings or lunch time and maybe even phone free days like family vacations or sundays you can turn this into a game whoever uses their phone first will have a fun punishment and i hope this Article helps you to be phone free for a bit so stay happy and happy learning
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