Why My iPhone Is Better as a Dumbphone, article.
How hard were those seven days? You can probably guess where this is headed: Not as hard as I had expected. I didn't even notice when I hit day seven, because I was already loving my new incapable iPhone.
I still impulsively reached for it when I got momentarily bored – in fact I still do, months later. But without an infinite supply of anything, I just put it back in my pocket.
Being bored turned out to be, well, sort of pleasant.
This is not some technophobe, this guy was a developer on Gmail.
We've had this subject up before, I find it very interesting.
Years ago when I heard "Net addiction", I got irritated. How could something so useful, so wonderful, be seen as an "addiction"? Well, the thing is, it can be both. It is powerful communication, and therefore can be powerfully good. But nothing is so good that it can't also be bad, or at the very least an addiction as well. Work can be addictive, exercise can be addictive, education can be addictive.
The problem is not in the subjects themselves, the problem is in us. Even hard drugs would not be a problem if we did not all of us have inner pains and conflicts which are so difficult that we try to run away from them, and that is just what an addiction is. A distraction. Or a pleasantry to cover some unpleasantness.
Yes, we've talked about this before, but it's a highly relevant subject as pretty much everyone is addicted to something, so revisiting it is not a bad idea.
... all of us have inner pains and conflicts which are so difficult that we try to run away from them, and that is just what an addiction is. A distraction. Or a pleasantry to cover some unpleasantness.
The problem is that this does't explain addiction. Yes, a pleasure seeking activity may serve as distraction from something unpleasant. But what is meant by addiction is the numbed pleasure response resulting from a repeated reward experience, which then causes withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings. Addiction is a process of gradual desensitization.
Your hypothesis doesn't touch the mechanism of addiction buildup at all. It merely explains how one might get introduced to the substance/activity in the first place. But even if it did, it would be easy to refute. Here are two counter arguments that immediately come to mind.
1. You can get addicted involuntarily, for example when given pain killers in the hospital.
2. Animals can and do get addicted just like us humans.
Fortunately, addiction is pretty well understood. It has to do with the elimination of dopamine receptors in the brain. This changes the neurochemical balance of the reward pathway.
Addiction is an overload effect of our natural pleasure seeking response (which we need for food and reproduction). What's new is that we are not genetically wired for the kind of easy satiation that modern living can offer. And this can kick our brain off balance, if we are not careful.
This also explains why we can become addicted to any form of pleasure, including browsing the Internet.
I recommend Gary Wilson's TED talk. It's about porn addiction specifically, but it has an excellent and very easy to understand explanation of the addiction mechanism in general. (He also has a longer video which goes deeper on the subject.)
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