Are You Addicted to Your Phone (Without Realizing It)? The 2 Most Common Addictions in the 21st Century

When you think of addictive behaviors, what come to mind?

smokes? drink wine? poison? Or something else? The above mentioned are some of the smaller addictions.

But in fact, addictive behavior is everywhere, and there’s a good chance you’re one of them.

What kind of behavior qualifies as addictive behavior?

Psychologist Marlatt defines addictive behavior as a repetitive habit pattern that increases the risk of disease and related personal and social problems.

Addictive behavior is often subjectively experienced as a ” loss of control ” and continues to occur despite determined attempts to stop or moderate it.

Addictive behavior only needs to meet two conditions, one is that it cannot be controlled, and the other is that the negative effects outweigh the positive effects.

Addictive behavior is a learned functional behavior. As a learned behavior, it is always connected with the times. Different eras will always have different addictive behaviors.

Today in the 21st century, there are two most common addictive behaviors, Internet addiction and staying up late addiction.
Internet Addiction: The Cell Phone You Can’t Put Down

I don’t know since when, mobile phones have also become our “organ”.

Whether we are walking, taking the subway, or eating, we are always accompanied by our mobile phones. Our mobile phones are like our second hearts. If we leave our mobile phones for a while, we will become anxious.

The ranks of the “head-downers” are getting bigger and bigger, and everyone is drowning in all kinds of information, unable to extricate themselves, and gradually losing themselves.

Short videos are the “big boss” in Internet addiction. In 2022, the number of short video users in my country has reached 888 million, and has been growing rapidly.

No matter men, women or children, it seems difficult to escape the appeal of Douyin. Everyone was watching the short videos tirelessly, as if they were obsessed.

Why does TikTok make people want to stop?

First of all, the length of short videos is very particular. Cognitive psychology tells us that information is generally held in short-term memory for 15 seconds. Music and s can quickly grab your attention .

And 15 seconds is exactly the time you can concentrate highly , so no matter how long you watch the video, you will not feel bored or tired.

Secondly, the content of the short video is also very interesting. They use the Zeigarnik effect to make us addicted to it.

The so-called Zeigarnik effect means that people are usually more affected by unfinished things than completed things.

Since the content of short videos is short, the content cannot be fully expressed, and this sense of incompleteness will make us uncontrollably scroll down. Its addictiveness is self-evident.

Mobile games are also a major factor in Internet addiction. The games themselves are designed to make us happy, which is to make us secrete dopamine.

So, how can we secrete dopamine through games ?

It’s simple, get positive feedback.

We will see that all games will set various rankings and rewards, which is the reward mechanism that uses our brains.

As we continue to receive positive feedback, we will continue to play the game and become addicted.

Addiction to staying up late: sleepless nights

The addiction to staying up late is actually closely related to Internet addiction. Internet addiction is likely to lead to the addiction to staying up late.

People who are addicted to staying up late are not the same as insomnia. Most of them take the initiative to stay up late, and sometimes they are even very sleepy but still force themselves not to sleep.

Most people who are addicted to staying up late are also young people, but they all have a common characteristic: they basically have no time of their own during the day.

For them, only the night belongs to them.

In psychology, we call this situation psychological compensation, which is a defense mechanism.

You can see in a person who has low self-esteem at the same time a person who is arrogant and likes to show off the more something is lacking in his circle of friends.

The reason why we “compensate” is because of our inner imbalance . Once the psychological balance tilts, pain will follow.

For people who are addicted to staying up late, the time during the day does not belong to them at all. They can only compensate for the time they “lost” during the day by staying up late to repair their inner imbalance.

Although to outsiders, their loss of sleep time is pure suffering, for them, this is actually a way to obtain dopamine.

When we stay up late, the longer we stay up, the more time we have for ourselves, and the happier we are at that time. But the pleasure brought by dopamine is fleeting, and it only makes us more and more “hungry.”

Like Internet addiction, after staying up late as a revenge, the individual will feel that doing so is wrong, and may even think about what to do next time. But the result is obvious. They will still watch videos, play games and stay up late uncontrollably.
These two addictive behaviors are the most widespread in contemporary times. They also reflect the contemporary disease of the times and their inner desolation.

They have no “spiritual support” of their own, they just follow everyone’s footsteps and move forward.

Therefore, the mind is desolate and unstable, and addictive behaviors are easy to appear.

They don’t have anything they want to do, so they keep watching videos to get instant happiness, or they keep staying up late in the hope of regaining control over themselves.

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