Technology companies are studying your brain and creating addictive behaviors by rewarding you with followers, likes, delivery of messages just as you’re ready to get off the screen, streaks that push you to post daily or lose your status.
YOU are being programmed.
Brain hacking on screens is real. Social media sites have employees, whole departments, studying our behaviors and throwing us stimulation so that it’s hard to put down the screen.
This 2017 story 60 Minutes episode on Screen Addiction shows how we’re being studied and rewarded online so that we don’t put down the phones (13 min). Watch Anderson Cooper stress out as he hears text notifications and can’t get to his phone. Every time he gets a text, his anxiety increases.
What’s the long-term affect of prolonged screen time for kids? Here’s a 2018 60 Minutes episode on Screen Time (in Kids) (13 min). Our kids’ brains are lighting up from social media and we don’t know the implications long-term yet.
Anxiety causes us to check in on social media. Over and over.
What can you do?
- Turn off notifications for text messages and social media
- Check in a few times a day, instead of continuously
- Make it a practice to be without your phone and savor the offline experience
- Become aware of your anxiety
- Do one thing at a time. Have dedicated screen time and dedicated non-screen time.