Why do we find social media and games so captivating? The simple answer is they’re designed to be. Tech companies have systematically eradicated the ability to engage in stopping rules by designing their platforms to keep us constantly engaged with their content.
Stopping rules used to occur when a programme finished. Now, one episode of a box set can roll into the next. This can make it easy to engage in an orgy of indulgence.
Dopamine neurons are activated when we consume something we perceive to be pleasurable. This might come from sex, gambling, or internet addiction. This self-medication can be an attempt to quieten an underlying anxiety condition, which can be when addiction takes hold.
We all respond to the influence of dopamine in some way. But our emotional stability is in danger when we overindulge because of low mood or stress. The slippery slope to addiction is to automatically turn to a device for emotional comfort at the first sign of natural downtime.
Counselling can help explore why you’re looking for connection, and ways to feel whole without the digital stimulation.