1 thought, 1 article, something to avoid & something to use
Your weekly dose of digital mindfulness
Hello, digital friend,
I know that the influence of social media on my life is terrible and that YouTube, Reddit, or Instagram are stealing my time. It was this knowledge that made me break up with technology. How is this breakup going? Very good on the one hand (I haven’t watched a single video on Youtube), but poorly on the other hand (I did play quite a few rounds of CounterStrike). I am trying not to be mad at myself because “just” cutting out YouTube is a massive success for me, but I wondered why I don’t have the willpower to stop?
Knowing the reason for my addiction to technology can help fight it, and the first step is to learn about dopamine. It is the secret tool used to make digital tools as addictive as possible, and if I can become aware of these effects and realise when technology is actively trying to steal my time, I can counter them.
Dopamine, what is that? It is a chemical substance in my brain that makes me feel good. It is the body’s internal reward system. When something I do leads to a dopamine release, my body tells me that I should do that more often, and while this was a crucial mechanism of survival, it is now being abused.
The concept of dopamine and tools that are designed to be addictive will be a fundamental part of a lot of future content on this site. Today, I want to lay the foundation by just learning about the existence of dopamine.
Something to avoid
Pay attention to the times when digital tools try to reward you. Think about the dopamine in your body and become aware of situations when you suspect an app of trying to give you a dopamine rush.
Something to use
I tend to discourage the use of apps that reduce the quality of your life, but some fantastic apps out there use our internal reward system to lead us to a better life, and I want to suggest one of those today: Fabulous.
Other than apps like Gardenscapes & Co., which use their knowledge about the addictive power of dopamine to make you spend more time and money on their games, fabulous helped me build positive habits while having a lot of fun doing so.
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