I believe digital dementia and addiction will easily pass alcohol and drug addiction if it has not already. It can certainly lead to drug & alcohol consumption and even addiction.
This is my opinion. It comes from being very observant especially over the past decade studying alcohol and drug addiction. I stopped drinking alcohol & recreational drug use 12 years ago.
Admittedly, I have not studied digital addiction on a deep level … BUT … it’s everywhere, and you have witnessed it too. Plus, it works just like any other addiction like alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, and anything that gives you instant, but non-lasting pleasure.
More and more in every modern country in the world the behavior on smartphone, computer, and TV screens is increasing in EVERY age group beginning at age 1, or as soon as they can walk.
In many homes, as soon as Mom & Dad can put a screen in front their child, so they can have a break, or be falsely led to believe by some of the smartest people on the planet it’s okay to do.
This should not be shocking news to you. Some of you, including me, have certainly participated in some of this behavior.
You should know, for the last 10 months, I’ve been closely following my new Mastermind Coach, Michael McLean.
Michael is really focused on & teaches on how to not allow this digital addiction to grow in your home, and how to eliminate it. More importantly, he actually does what he teaches.
Here’s a link to his newest book, www.NoBullBook.com.
Here’s some Professional information that I came across recently.
Below are some of my notes …PLUS … some pieces of an article on Digital Addiction by Dr. Anna Lembke professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences, Stanford University.
She’s also the author of the book, Dopamine Nation. If you want to check that out.
Are you spending too much time scrolling through posts on FB, the Gram. Tweeting on Twitter? Watching videos on Tik-Tok?
These apps were designed by the smartest people in the world to be one thing … Addictive. Period.
They start off as harmless fun. But with every image of a friend or funny meme, your brain is rewarded with a dose of dopamine – the brain chemical released when we do something we enjoy.
And it keeps us coming back for more because it’s temporary.
Here’s the rub … The more we indulge in the digital dopamine, the more unhappy, anxious, or depressed we are likely to become.
If we continue to consume our drug of choice, over days or weeks the initial pleasure response gets weaker and shorter in duration. The after-response pain, gets stronger and longer.
Over time we end up in a chronic dopamine-deficit state where, when we’re not doing our “drug,” we experience the universal symptoms of withdrawal (anxiety, irritability, insomnia, depression) from any additive substance.
Nothing else is enjoyable, and we need our drug not to get high but just to feel normal.
SOLUTION… Experiment with a dopamine fast.
Take a break from digital products for a set period of time. At least one day, preferably longer. This break allows the brain’s dopamine reward system to reset itself and gives you an opportunity to reflect on our compulsive use.
WHAT TO DO … Set a specific “quit date”. Let people know before and during that you’ll be offline and not available. Even better, encourage others to take digital break with you. There’s strength in community.
During the fast, stay active doing non-screen-based activities that involve moving your body by exercising and being outdoors. This will help mitigate the withdrawal side effects.
Also, write down or record your feelings as you go through the fast, so you can be mindful of what you are experiencing and share the experience with others.
WARNING … Indulging in other high-dopamine rewards, such as watching TV, eating sugar and high carbs or using addicting substances, is NOT helpful.
No trading bad habit for another bad habit. It can cause cross addictions and prevent the reward pathway from resetting itself.
When the fast is over … make a list, what was good about taking a digital break and what was bad. Boredom and social isolation usually top the list of bad things. Top of the list of good things includes less anxiety and depression … getting more done … reduced compulsions to check our phones/be online … and increased ability to be more present and think creatively, not just react to external stimuli.
After the fast you’ll be better able to reintegrate the digital world into your life again, but with a little more wisdom.
I really like Dr. Anna Lembke’s three suggestions I highlight in RED above. However, I believe most people should NOT start trying to do a full day without screens starting out.
If you have a really bad habit of “screen addiction”, you may want to take baby steps to begin to get some small consistent daily wins making it easier to get to larger wins. Try going without screens for an hour or two at a time instead of trying to do a full day. With consistency, you can build up to a full day and even more.
If you’re like me, and you want TOUGH COACHING. I suggest you take a look at my guy, Michael McLean. He shoots a short 15-20 minute video you can subscribe to that covers this and several other key areas of our lives including, Family, Health, Business, Spiritual and Gratitude, Wealth, Lifestyle, and Community Service.