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Smart Phones - The “Slot Machines” of the Tech World

“It elevates dopamine receptors, and you continue to use it over & over again because it offers unpredictable awards”

- Dr Kimberly Young

The brain wants pleasure, and excitement, & continues to find things that help with survival and avoid pain. How strong the reward depends on how often and how big the reward is.

Videogames for example are built to exploit this part of the brain! Kill the monster, get points...

Move on to the next level… Super excited, your skills are improving! Happy music, what a good feel… Win the game, mission accomplished… Next game. Next hype!

The immediate effect on the brain causes a spike in dopamine release. Continued use reduces the brain’s dopamine production. The brain is “fooled” that the behaviour has survival value. Consequently, you want more & more of the same behaviour.

A massive release of dopamine occurs, and the dopamine levels become low/depleted. Endless pleasure however ends up in punishment and mental health issues!!

  • Moodiness

  • Anxiety

  • Depressed mood

  • Increased levels of irritability

  • Withdrawal symptoms

  • Restless

  • Decrease in impulse control

  • Increased risk for substance abuse to feel better


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