Exploring the Impact of Cell Phone Scrolling on the Brain and Strategies to Avoid Compulsive Use

Unraveling the Science Behind Phone Addiction: Why Scrolling is So Compelling

The act of scrolling on a screen has become an integral part of our daily routines, whether it’s for a brief moment in an elevator or hours before bed. However, have you ever stopped to consider what happens at the neuronal level when we scroll and why it is so addictive? Eilish Duke, a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, sheds light on this subject.

According to Duke, the impulse to pick up our phone and start scrolling is automatic. It is something that we have developed as a habit over time. When we turn on our screens and begin to scroll, certain functions of our brain and the design of our phone applications come into play. Our brains are naturally wired to seek rewards, and our phones are designed to provide us with constant streams of information that interests us. This interaction triggers the reward system in our brain, similar to how someone can become addicted to substances like alcohol.

For many people, social networks offer newness and novelty that constantly feed into the pleasure-seeking part of our brain. However, there is also another part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex that battles against these impulses and seeks to make more balanced decisions. Unfortunately, in many cases, the logical part of our brain that controls impulses is overwhelmed by the search for pleasure, especially in young people whose brains are still developing. This can lead to excessive scrolling where we enter a flow state and lose track of time.

While cell phone addiction is not officially recognized as a formal diagnosis, it’s crucial to be aware of your own concerns and seek help if needed. To prevent excessive scrolling experts recommend taking breaks from screens regularly engage with the physical world and navigating the impulse to pick up your phone constantly by being more mindful of your habits. By doing so we can develop a healthier relationship with technology overall.

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