Cell Phones: The REAL Issue

     As you might have noticed, the latest obsession of teens and adults everywhere is, of course, cell phones.   No matter where you are these days, you’re bound to see someone holding this small gadget.  Now, my question is, why are cell phones so tempting?  Why can’t people resist?  My theory is that it has something to do with either how our brains work or the chemicals hidden inside this piece of technology. What makes this mind blowing item so scintillating?  You’re about to find out.

     According to psychologytoday.com, “The culprit is dopamine.”  Dopamine is responsible for many different brain functions.  While it has been said that it causes pleasure, “Dopamine causes you to want, desire, seek out, and search.”  With all of the social media around us, “It’s easy to get in a dopamine induced loop.  Dopamine starts you seeking, then you get rewarded for the seeking which makes you seek more.  It becomes harder and harder to stop looking at email, stop texting, or stop checking your cell phone to see if you have a message or a new text… Dopamine is also stimulated by unpredictability.  When something happens that is not exactly predictable, that stimulates the dopamine system… The dopamine system is especially sensitive to “cues” that a reward is coming.  If there is a small, specific cue that signifies that something is going to happen, that sets of our dopamine system.”

     Although I haven’t really looked at the other possibilities, addiction (specifically from dopamine) is a logical explanation.  But whatever it is, you can put a stop to it.  Here’s a little piece of advice: interact with people face to face like you used to.  Use your phone for things other than texting and social media.  Take a break from your phone for once, and face the real world.

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