Technology addicts and gamblers share a lot of similarities. They both believe that a particular behavior is likely to result in a reward, so they indulge in the behavior. They will do this even if there are negative consequences of the behavior.
The gambler is risking his financial stability. The technology user is risking his relationships, physical and emotional health, and largely wasting his time.
The same can be said for all addictions. An addiction occurs when someone is highly motivated to risk more than the reward is actually worth. Nearly anything can be an addiction when taken to the extremes. Even drinking water.
It’s been suggested that nearly all behavior is controlled by a single chemical in the brain called dopamine. When the brain interprets a behavior as having a positive outcome, it releases dopamine and you’re much more likely to perform that behavior again in the future.
Do you love chocolate? Sex? The NFL? Romantic comedies? Blackjack? Dopamine is to blame. We don’t actually love any of those things. We love the feeling we get from indulging in them. That feeling is the feeling of dopamine.
Technology provides experiences that are interesting, easy to acquire, and feel good. Checking your phone for notifications is like rolling the dice. Maybe there will be something good. Maybe there will be nothing at all. It’s so exciting to find out for certain!
Social media is designed to hook you and keep you hooked. The deck is stacked against everyone.
Addiction to technology can be a legitimate addiction with real consequences. It can sacrifice your health, relationships, career, and your overall sense of well-being.
One great solution is a digital detox. This is simply avoiding, or minimizing, the use of technology in your life for a period of time. It can be very challenging, but very worth your time and effort.
You can reclaim your life if you’re willing to follow through and perform a digital detox!
Consider these topics as a way to learn more about yourself and your options for using a digital detox to enhance your life: