The loudest voices in our culture herald a consistent message. Go big. Go viral. Get busy.
Get distracted. Ooh! Look at this. Ooh! Shiny, shiny, shiny.
Perhaps you’ve noticed this, too.
The screens and software and computer devices we use are designed to train us to pay attention to them and nothing else. The way they sound, feel, and look are created so they become the center of lives. This isn’t cultural commentary as much as basic brain science.
- “New information creates a rush of dopamine to the brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good.”
- “The promise of new information compels your brain to seek out that dopamine rush.”
Ever notice—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, text—sets off a rush of dopamine. The rush causes us to develop behaviors that reinforce our behaviors. Responding soon becomes habit.
Start a project. Need dopamine. Check Facebook. Dopamine rush. Check email. Second dopamine rush. Hit refresh. No new emails. Visit Twitter for dopamine rush. Return to project. Repeat cycle again and again.
No wonder it’s so hard not to look at our phones when we feel the vibration or hear the ring or ping. Our brain science urges, “You want this. Just a peek.” Continue Reading...