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Posts Tagged ‘mobile addiction’

Is looking for love now more rewarding than finding it ?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

We all know that social media can be addicting. Most social media users love the little burst of excitement experienced when they receive notification alerts. Subconsciously, notifications serve as validation. No one likes sharing a funny video or cute photo on social media and receiving no feedback or interactions. Ford’s 2014 consumer survey reports that 62 percent of adults felt better about themselves after getting positive reactions to what they shared on social media.

But it’s more than a positive feeling. Science has actually proven that social media is addicting. When people receive notifications their brains release dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for reward and pleasure and also associated with addiction. And not only is social media itself potentially addictive, those who use it may also be at greater risk for impulse-control issues like substance abuse, according to The Huffington Post.

It’s hard to believe that all of this excitement, validation, and potential for addiction are brought about by simple Facebook notifications. Someone in the community is simply saying, “That video of your dog is funny,” or “I like your pretty picture of the beach!” Now just imagine how much more addicting and validating it must be when someone says, “I like YOU and find you attractive enough to go out on a date, or ‘hook up’ with you.”

The social media app Tinder is specifically designed to facilitate those types of interactions. People review photos along with a very small amount of information about a nearby person and then either ‘swipe right’ to say, “Let’s meet up, I’m romantically interested in you,” or ‘swipe left’ to say they’re not interested. If people experience an addictive dose of dopamine from a Facebook photo ‘like’ how addicting is the experience of someone looking at their photos and ‘swiping right’?

Could Tinder, or any dating apps like it, really foster or even allow for the development of an actual relationship? Let’s say someone ‘swipes right’ and meets their ‘soul mate’ or a highly compatible partner. Would they recognize it? Would they delete the app and pursue a health relationship, or would they be too addicted to the ‘high’ experienced when the next person ‘swipes right’ to meet them? Considering that 42 percent of Tinder users aren’t even single, it’s likely the latter. Sure there are always exceptions, but overall it seems that if someone is looking for love on apps like Tinder, they’re looking in all the wrong places.

Is Your Smartphone Sucking the Smart Out of You?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

How many times a day do you use your smartphone to check emails, Google an answer, settle a discussion or bide your time while waiting in a long line with Facebook or Twitter? While that answer is innumerable, the better question is: What did we do before smartphones?

There are thousands of apps made to enhance daily life, allowing users to navigate the world at their fingertips. For example, ‘Around Me’ uses your location to list every amenity imaginable within close proximity; ”Shazam’ listens to 30 seconds of a song, returning a title and artist, and ‘iHandy Level’ even turns your phone into a level, ensuring the shelf that you’re hanging is straight. Sure, these apps are pretty nifty, but they come at a high price ‘ and we aren’t talking dollars.

Since obtaining information has become instantaneous and constant, smartphone users are becoming more impatient as they become increasingly dependent on their devices. Lisa Merlo, a clinical psychologist and director of psychotherapy training at the University of Florida, makes the case in USA Today that we are becoming obsessed with our smartphones at the expense of social and emotional intelligence. According to Merlo, these gadgets are causing decreased attention spans, detaching us from the real world and stifling our ability to communicate in person.

As scary as it may be, the best solution to our attachment is separation. ‘We need to leave our smartphones at home and use the instincts we had before our devices took the reins. It would be interesting to see how much resourcefulness is retained without omniscience in our purses or pockets.

Try scheduling 15 minutes a day that are smartphone free. If you find you can handle it, increase the time each week. Eventually you might even be able to enjoy an entire meal without a distraction or go for a run without an app that tracks your pace!