Why Are Phones So Addictive?


In this photo two girls (Emma Ross and Hannah McDonough) are texting instead of socializing with each other.

Your eyes are attracted to a small handheld device someone is obviously trying to get your attention, but you don’t put down your device to look that person in the eyes and acknowledge that they are talking to you or that they exist at all. No, you keep staring at your cat memes or the Snapchats or the Candy Crush because looking up for just a minute away from your cat memes or Snapchats is too much. Instead, you just stare at your phone.

However, if we put our devices down for just a minute and talk to someone with your mouth ( I know – so scary) not your thumbs then you could learn something about someone else the world or something about yourself. 

One reason that you are attracted to your phones and other small hand-held devices is the dopamine that is released during phone use. Dopamine is a hormone that is released during physical activity is something your body craves, so your body tries to make exercise fun. Your body releases dopamine to make yourself feel better. But then why does your body release dopamine during phone use? It’s because dopamine is also stimulated by unpredictability. You don’t know that at exactly 4:42pm someone is going to send you a text or that someone is going to post something about their vacation, so your brain enjoys the surprise.

Phones also make you lose your focus. For example, the last time you sat down to read a book and didn’t get up until the book was done for most ( if you respond with yesterday – pat your self on the back). If you don’t remember because it’s been a long time so just try to put your phone down.

Something to consider about phone use is that Bill and Melinda Gates did not let their children have phones until they were 14. If they didn’t let their kids have access to this technology it’s because they know the dangers of having technology at every turn so think about that before you check your phone for the fortieth time this day because it’s just your brain playing tricks on you.