By Dr. John Reizer
According to a 2017 study, the average person has a difficult time going more than ten minutes without checking their phones. Many people check their phones up to 80 times a day. Some people are so addicted to electronic devices they cannot go longer than four minutes without checking them.
Another study performed by comScore reported that American Smartphone users regularly log 73.8 hours a month on their devices. It’s absolute insanity. Regardless, facts are facts and people are hopelessly addicted to these electronic gadgets.
We’ve all heard horror stories about a particular person getting addicted to Cocaine or Heroin. These chemicals as well as many others are, undoubtedly, very dangerous substances.
Although most users begin taking addictive drugs voluntarily, it doesn’t take long before they have become full blown addicts. Chemical drug dependency is a serious problem worldwide that takes many months, and in some cases many years to successfully conquer. Most people are unable to kick a chemical drug habit without the help of a fully trained medical staff.
The human nervous system is wired in such a way that when we take part in pleasurable activities, certain chemicals are released inside the brain that cause us to want to continue the pleasurable experiences. One of those chemicals is called Dopamine.
The neurotransmitter Dopamine allows us to feel very happy and the more the chemical is released inside the brain, the happier we will feel. Pleasurable experiences cause Dopamine to be released. The taking of certain drugs like Heroin and Cocaine causes a lot of Dopamine to be dumped in the brain and this in turn causes a very euphoric state that drug users often report experiencing.
With continued drug use, the brain eventually reduces the amount of Dopamine it receives and because of this fact it becomes more difficult to experience the same level of pleasure that was initially felt by the drug user. In order to reach the same state of euphoria, more of the drug is required each time and the cycle goes on and on.
It’s easy for most people to understand how a chemical modality, like Heroin, could cause a person to become hopelessly addicted. But it’s not so easy for people to understand how the same mechanisms that are causing people to become drug addicts are also capable of causing people to become addicted to computers and Smartphones.
Electronic addiction is a real thing and millions of people are becoming electronic addicts. And if you believe this is all taking place because of some unfortunate accident – think again!
The telecommunication corporations are well aware of the fact that their products are habit forming. They know that when you first start off, your data package will be small. But just like a nicotine junkie increases the number of cigarettes they smoke a day each year, the Smartphone user will also increase the amount of data they require over time.
Smartphone users repeatedly stimulate neural-pathways inside the human brain that cause the release of Dopamine which rewards the user with a pleasurable experience. This scenario recurs over and over again and eventually more electronic stimulation is required to reach the same level of pleasure that was present initially.
In this situation the modality used to trigger the Dopamine release is electronic in nature and not a chemical product. Chemical modality or electronic modality, it doesn’t matter; the same addictive result is accomplished.
Smartphone users become so addicted that they cannot go more than a few minutes at a time without checking text messages, emails, Facebook, Instagram and other social media applications. When a Smartphone user picks up his or her device, it’s like a nicotine addict picking up a cigarette and taking a puff.
How often do you touch your Smartphone in a day?