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The advent of portable technology has exploited our reptilian addiction switch like never before.
It's not your screen you're addicted to — it's just the conduit for your high. NYU professor Adam Alter explains that behavioral addiction is similar to substance addiction: it feels good in the short term, but over time can negatively impact your mental state, social life, financial stability, and physiological wellbeing. There's been a steep takeoff of digital addiction in recent years, with approximately half the developed world now exhibiting addictive tendencies when it comes to the internet. It comes down to portability. The more wireless our devices become, the more our addiction follows us around, and the more we turn to our phones as "adult pacifiers" — just a swipe of your screen is enough to feel relaxed again. Adam Alter is the author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked.
The average person checks their phone 200 times a day. It borders on addiction for some, but according to cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken there are easy ways to unlearn this compulsion.
The internet is so great, isn’t it? It’s hit, after hit, after hit of quality visuals, stories and encounters. Or is it? Cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken is here to remind us of fading affect bias, which is where negative emotion associated with unpleasant memories fade much faster than positive experiences. This is why gamblers are always so quick to talk about how much they’ve won over the years, with no mention (or memory) of what they’ve lost.