"I just played too many games and I'm not getting enough sleep today", "I want to earn more than anyone else in the same period and work overtime too much", "I walk 12,000 steps every day while looking at my pedometer for my health, but I'm getting tired. It's gone. "… Behind these behaviors, addiction can be seen and hidden.
Today's society is full of addiction, with attractive products, successive goals, and obsessions with health. In a sense, it can be said to be a "disease" that prevails in modern times. However, this book does not consider having a particular product or goal as "evil" in itself, but focuses on the process and environment of becoming addicted. Not everyone has the temperament to become addicted from the beginning. Addiction, which is often blamed on brain abnormalities and personality, is important to calmly unravel the mechanism.
Many exciting psychological experiments are introduced in this book, and it is possible to understand the meaning of what a small action means. Also, the solution to addiction is presented in a realistically possible line, rather than imposing the author's ideal theory. I also felt sincerity in not only recommending a specific solution to let go, but also introducing criticisms and encouraging myself to think about how to use it.
It's a book that makes you think about how to handle the smartphone that is placed right next to you.
Main points of this book
In recent years, behavioral addictions such as immersiveness in games and excessive use of Instagram have been pointed out as "addictions in the new era".
Addiction is not a matter of personality, but is related to an environment or product designed to heal a person's emptiness.
Being aware of your dependence and knowing why it is so is a big step towards overcoming it.
The technology that encourages addiction is a double-edged sword, so you can make good use of it to enrich your life.
Humans are dependent creatures
Addiction is commonly associated with drugs, alcohol, or gambling. However, behavioral addiction has recently been pointed out as a "new era of addiction."
Behavioral addiction is the habitual practice of some bad habit. For example, "I can't help doing muscle training every day", "I watch many episodes at once", "I post frequently on Instagram" … These are all types of behavioral addiction. And many of them involve technology products that encourage addiction. It's an addiction business.
Carry too much
Knowing how many hours and how many times a day you are messing with your smartphone should make you terrified. According to data from an app called "Moment," it averages 39 times a day for 3 hours. If you convert this to a month, it will be calculated that you have a smartphone for almost 100 hours. The word "nomophobia" was born, which makes me feel uneasy if I don't have my cell phone handy.
Humans learn how to empathize and understand others by directly observing how their actions affect others. However, if you take care of your child with your smartphone next to you, your eyes will naturally go to your smartphone and you will tend to lose your attention. And if the focus is on text messages and SNS exchanges rather than face-to-face communication, it becomes impossible to read the reaction of the other party directly.
Keeping your mobile device close to you like this can have a negative effect.
Addiction is not a matter of personality
It is said that 85% of American soldiers who went to the Vietnam War started heroin because of "boring". Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and 95% of them are stuck in addiction once they get their hands on it. However, 95% of the Vietnam War veterans who became heroin addicted did not relapse. What does this result mean?
Addiction cannot be described by the person's personality alone. The returnees of the Vietnam War were able to get rid of their addiction because they were away from the environment of Vietnam. It is because there are "signals" that call for addiction symptoms, such as products like games and places like Vietnam, that you fall into addiction.
I don't like it, I just want it
The most violent modern illness in the world, affecting two-thirds of all adults, is said to be chronic sleep deprivation. One of the causes is the blue light of digital devices. This inhibits the production of melatonin, which leads to sleep. But even as that fact becomes more recognized, people continue to keep their mobile phones at their bedside.
Negative infinite chains of dopamine occur in the brains of drug addicts and game addicts. When dopamine is suppressed by detecting the pleasure of full turbo as an error, people take action to seek dopamine. When tolerance develops, the brain begins to seek further stimulation.
However, addiction is not solely due to the effects of dopamine. In fact, many addicts who show the behavior of wanting an addict do not like it. "Feelings of love (favorability)" and "feelings of wanting (craving)" are different. And craving is a stronger emotion than a good feeling. Once a certain material or action is combined with a feeling of liberation from psychological suffering, it is very difficult to suppress the feeling of "wanting". This is the truth of addiction.[Must read point!] Mechanism of addiction manipulating people
Escalate the difficulty level to high
As you get used to games and everything, you get tired of it. However, if you try to experience the trials and defeats properly, humans will get stuck in the game. A typical example is Tetris. By the time you get used to it, it's set to become more difficult, and it's even listed in the Guinness Book of Records as "the first video game to improve brain function and efficiency."
The hint of this mechanism is the concept of "zone of proximal development". According to it, one is most motivated when working on something a little higher. Tetris is cleverly designed to allow anyone, regardless of skill level, to continue playing in the zones of proximal development.
When a person has "necessary skills" and is in a state of challenging "moderate level", a person enters a state called "flow". It's hard to stop once you start to enjoy the process of your progress. At this point, a "stop rule" is needed to stop it.
However, the technology in the world is developing so that the money in the wallet is decreasing and the body does not feel the stop rule such as signing fatigue. The level of the game is fun to challenge, the range of effort you can make for exercise and weight management, and the pleasures of the "just right area" such as asset goals, and even if the benefits of continuing are diminished, you can't stop it forever. ..
Will not let me stop
Most people get angry when a mystery is left at the end or when a disappointing punch line comes. However, as a result, the work is often very successful. The "Cliffhanger" is a hint to understand this. People are more fascinated by experiences that are not completed than those that are completed. The unpredictable development leaves people sick as a cliffhanger.
The video playback site "Netflix" has an automatic playback function. This is intended to eliminate the suspension rule. If you want to stop watching, you have to actively "do not watch the next story". Generally speaking, many people are reluctant to take such active actions.
This is also reflected in the difference in the consent rate of organ donation consent cards. In countries with a low consent rate, "if you are willing to donate organs" is checked, but in countries with a high consent rate, "if you do not want to donate organs" is checked. It makes good use of the characteristic of people who do not want to actively check. When the strong charm of Cliffhanger is added to this, it is difficult for people to escape from "automatic playback".
Is that connection a real connection?
“Instagram,” a photo app and SNS, has become so major because it makes good use of another addictive magic, “social interaction.”
Basically, people value themselves, but tend to be hypersensitive to negative feedback. If you add a lot of "likes" to the photos you post, you will feel that you have received social approval, and if you find a photo that you only like, you will feel that you are special. You can also be. People are most comfortable when the two are fed back in the best balance (optimal difference).
Game addiction expert Andy Doan cites "social elements" as one of the hallmarks of games with a game-dependent design. However, the brain, which is game-dependent and has grown only through online friendships, cannot easily adapt to real-world interactions. This is because it is not possible to talk with people on a web device, resulting in a kind of emotional amblyopia (a state in which it is difficult to feel empathy for others).
How to confront a new addiction
Make people aware of why they are addicted
Today's children have been surrounded by digital devices since they were born. One of the keys to preventing addiction is how to get them to communicate face-to-face. Children are more likely to be addicted than adults because their brains are not fully self-regulating.
Various approaches have been considered for children who have become addicted. Recently, "motivational interviewing" based on self-determination theory has been said to be effective. People want to "advance their lives by their own will (autonomy)", "form a solid bond with family and friends (relationship)", and "feel influential in their surroundings (competence)" ) ”, It is easy to take voluntary action.
People who become addicted lack some needs, such as estranged relationships with real friends. By making them aware of this, it is thought that they can encourage them to change their behavior voluntarily.
If you can't escape the temptation
The inability to overcome addiction is not due to weak will. As there is data that "people who think conservatively spend more time accessing pornographic sites", suppressing temptation with the power of will may intensify the reaction. It is more effective not to face the object of temptation than that. It replaces addictive behavior with something else.
An effective way to do this is the idea of "behavioral architecture." As a premise, humans cannot completely escape temptation. Then, first physically move away from the target that induces addiction. If that is difficult, try to figure out what is giving the dependency and remove it. And if you get into a bad habit, for example, donate a little painful amount to a charity that has nothing to do with you. Imposing such a small punishment or inconvenience on yourself is said to be highly effective.
However, some people cannot move just because of discomfort. In that case, if you can stay away from bad habits for a certain period of time, why not use a predetermined amount of money, for example, for someone close to you?
If you lose your time by immersing yourself in an addictive subject, don't assume that you can get it back tomorrow or next week. The important thing is to redesign your environment wisely and at your own will.
Encourage good behavior with gamification
One way to design your own environment is to use the game. This is called "gamification" (making a non-game experience into a game).
If you want to do the right thing, it's best to make it fun. In gamification, the fun of the experience itself is the reward. If you accumulate correct actions, you will accumulate points (point system), if you reach a certain number, you will receive a title (badge), and if you get better results than other users (players), you will be awarded (registered on the leaderboard) Is more effective. In the case of education, for example, students will be encouraged to participate in learning from intrinsic motives by designing the learning to proceed as a result of completing quests.
Of course, games have elements that increase addiction, and there are other criticisms such as "does not contribute to long-term life improvement" and "will diminish other experiences." Gamification is a double-edged sword, but the essence is to design the experience well. It's important to use it correctly so that you can motivate it in the right direction.
Make good use of technology
There is the word "end of history illusion". While it is easy for people to see the difference between the past and the present, it is easy for people to believe that they will remain the same. It's hard to imagine a change 10 years from now. But there is no guarantee that more addictive technologies will not be born in the future.
Technology, on the other hand, not only fuels behavioral addictions, but also brings miracles and fulfillment to life. It's important not to simply let go of technology, but to build a thoughtful design that doesn't encourage addiction. If we become a culture that respects the warmth of face-to-face, our lives will surely be warm and happy in the future.
Recommendation of reading
New addictions are caused by behavior, not substance. If you read this book, you will realize how you are involved in the addiction business, and you will surely get cold in your spine. Moreover, unlike dependence on substances, the current situation is that legislation is not in time for dependence on behavior. We strongly recommend reading this book as a "vaccination" for your addiction business.