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Thread: We are not addicted to smartphones, we are addicted to social interaction

  1. #1
    Advisor Jovialis's Avatar
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    We are not addicted to smartphones, we are addicted to social interaction

    A new study of dysfunctional use of smart technology finds that the most addictive smartphone functions all share a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people. The findings, published in Frontiers in Psychology, suggest that smartphone addiction could be hyper-social, not anti-social.

    "There is a lot of panic surrounding this topic," says Professor Samuel Veissière, from the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, Canada. "We're trying to offer some good news and show that it is our desire for human interaction that is addictive—and there are fairly simple solutions to deal with this."

    We all know people who, seemingly incapable of living without the bright screen of their phone for more than a few minutes, are constantly texting and checking out what friends are up to on social media.

    These are examples of what many consider to be the antisocial behavior brought on by smartphone addiction, a phenomenon that has garnered media attention in the past few months and led investors and consumers to demand that tech giants address this problem.

    But what if we were looking at things the wrong way? Could smartphone addiction be hyper-social, not anti-social?

    Professor Veissière, a cognitive anthropologist who studies the evolution of cognition and culture, explains that the desire to watch and monitor others—but also to be seen and monitored by others—runs deep in our evolutionary past. Humans evolved to be a uniquely social species and require constant input from others to seek a guide for culturally appropriate behavior. This is also a way for them to find meaning, goals, and a sense of identity.

    Together with Moriah Stendel, also from McGill's Department of Psychiatry, Professor Veissière reviewed current literature on dysfunctional use of smart technology through an evolutionary lens. The researchers found that the most addictive smartphone functions all shared a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people.

    Healthy urges can become unhealthy addictions

    While smartphones harness a normal and healthy need for sociality, Professor Veissière agrees that the pace and scale of hyper-connectivity pushes the brain's reward system to run on overdrive, which can lead to unhealthy addictions.

    "In post-industrial environments where foods are abundant and readily available, our cravings for fat and sugar sculpted by distant evolutionary pressures can easily go into insatiable overdrive and lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (...) the pro-social needs and rewards [of smartphone use as a means to connect] can similarly be hijacked to produce a manic theatre of hyper-social monitoring," the authors write in their paper.

    Turning off push notifications and setting up appropriate times to check your phone can go a long way to regain control over smartphone addiction. Research suggests that workplace policies "that prohibit evening and weekend emails" are also important.

    "Rather than start regulating the tech companies or the use of these devices, we need to start having a conversation about the appropriate way to use smartphones," concludes Professor Veissière. "Parents and teachers need to be made aware of how important this is."

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-...ign=story-tabs


    Hypernatural Monitoring: A Social Rehearsal Account of Smartphone Addiction

    We present a deflationary account of smartphone addiction by situating this purportedly antisocial phenomenon within the fundamentally social dispositions of our species. While we agree with contemporary critics that the hyper-connectedness and unpredictable rewards of mobile technology can modulate negative affect, we propose to place the locus of addiction on an evolutionarily older mechanism: the human need to monitor and be monitored by others. Drawing from key findings in evolutionary anthropology and the cognitive science of religion, we articulate a hypernatural monitoring model of smartphone addiction grounded in a general social rehearsal theory of human cognition. Building on recent predictive-processing views of perception and addiction in cognitive neuroscience, we describe the role of social reward anticipation and prediction errors in mediating dysfunctional smartphone use. We conclude with insights from contemplative philosophies and harm-reduction models on finding the right rituals for honoring social connections and setting intentional protocols for the consumption of social information.


    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles...018.00141/full
    I've always assumed this to be the case, in regards to social media and smartphones. People like to interact with one another, and smartphones provide a way for them to do this. However, with most things done in excess; it can have negative affects on individuals. In this case, it creates a form of addiction where one seeks out the reward of social interaction constantly. If this urge is not sufficed, it can cause distress. I think it's important to occupy yourself with other activities. Going outside to different places, and interacting with people in person should be the most obvious one. Still you see people glued to their phones; which its why it's important to just turn them off for a certain amount of time.

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    Elite member Coriolan's Avatar
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    Do we behave like this because we think that the people we have the chance to interact with in real life are not as good matches for us as those we can socialize with online? When I say socializing online I also mean with real friends who live far away from us and that we cannot meet regularly. It surely beats the hell out of talking with a boring neighbor.

    Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    Do we behave like this because we think that the people we have the chance to interact with in real life are not as good matches for us as those we can socialize with online? When I say socializing online I also mean with real friends who live far away from us and that we cannot meet regularly. It surely beats the hell out of talking with a boring neighbor.

    Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
    There's definitely a lot of benefits to the ability to find and communicate with people across the world. You have a sure chance to meet more interesting people, and go to communities where you can discuss comparable beliefs and interests. There's also the ability to stay closer with relatives and close friends you've known from childhood that live far away. I think it's good in moderation, as long as it doesn't interfere with one's ability to operate socially in their local community. Or if they feel that it has taken on negative behavior similar to addiction.

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    Advisor bicicleur's Avatar
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    social interaction with people nearby makes good sense, a minimum is even necessary, but it is better when there is more

    the new media makes social interaction possible with complete strangers
    I think most of it is a waist of time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    I've always assumed this to be the case, in regards to social media and smartphones. People like to interact with one another, and smartphones provide a way for them to do this. However, with most things done in excess; it can have negative affects on individuals. In this case, it creates a form of addiction where one seeks out the reward of social interaction constantly. If this urge is not sufficed, it can cause distress. I think it's important to occupy yourself with other activities. Going outside to different places, and interacting with people in person should be the most obvious one. Still you see people glued to their phones; which its why it's important to just turn them off for a certain amount of time.
    I argued this many times. We were born with this addiction, which is social interaction. The phone is just a tool, a perfect conduit, to be close to the ones we care all day long.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    I think text based communication is most likely here to stay as a primary means of social media.

    I had always assumed that once we would be able to see one another in phone conversations, it would be the new thing. But not a lot of people use Face time (video-based phone calls) from what I've noticed. Moreover, people rarely even call one another anymore. They prefer to text each other.

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    No it's the modern generations & increasingly socially inept who are addicted to cell phones & interactions. Let's be real.
    How many times have you seen people sitting at a restaurant with others & glued to their phones (even families), being spoken to and rudely/ignorantly never looking up or don't even stop texting, who you've heard walking into traffic, off bridges, etc. as if they'll die putting the phone down for a minute.

    It is all because social media, digital interactions, pixel "friends", etc. are safer (/easier) than face to face interactions. Depending on your ages your parents, grandparents & great-grandparents, after all, survived & socialized well enough without cell phones & social media. During prior years/generations:

    1. If one wanted to learn of another country - they traveled if possible, read books, or sought via "snail mail" to make a potential connection with a local to learn about the country.
    2. If one wanted to date - they went to the local clubs, churches, bowling alleys, etc. not online dating sites trying desperately to weed out the legitimate potential partners from the frauds.
    3. etc.



    Sorry, no offense, but the idea people are entirely dependent on social interactions is amusing. People who need to be assured, such as those who live in subdivisions built so close together you could throw a tissue through your neighbor's bathroom window, are dependent on social interactions. People who are not self-confident, who need approval, etc. are dependent on social interactions.


    People who are self assured, who are confident in themselves, etc. simply do not need excessive social interactions. If such individuals didn't exist half of the world would still be unexplored as most explorers would have never left built-up areas.


    I personally am very friendly in real life but being confident & self-assured in myself, in all truth, I really couldn't if I socialize or not with people. I don't "need" it. Besides as my grandmother always said, after all, you can count your real friends on one hand & both (hands) if special. Everyone else is just an acquaintance who, like work acquaintances, will come & go but are not worth loosing sleep over.

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    I have to admit I use my cell phone quite a bit, but typically it's for business. When I or my clients want to send a quick message, it is ideal. I have to check each time I get a text because I have to get approval for showings for the properties I have listed and I need to do it quickly. What I don't like, is that it has created a 24-7 work day, because like me, when other agents have time to sit down and go through properties for their clients, it is usually at night.

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    There is a nice picture appearing from time to time on the net - above, there are gentlemen sitting somewhere in London metro, all of them reading their newspapers, below, there are young people in Tokyo metro playing (reading) theirs smartphones. Difference? 100 years.

    I believe the smartphones are tools of communication only - people always tended to be informed (fairytales, rumours, village to village whispers...). Now, people have their new tool - and they are using it to the extreme, some of them.
    What is very different from the past - the impact and speed of information (disinformation), provided through new social media interaction. We see the implications of that fenomena everyday - in politics, business, life...
    One of the side effects of using smartfones is, truly, the ignorance of your partner sitting next to you (in restaurant, meadow or the plane). But here, i believe, we shall find some modus vivendi in the future - new code of behaviour. Mankind did react on new developments always and finally did balance it and came to newly formed rules of behaviour. I think, this will come to us as well in near future - watching or checking your smartphones will be rude while sitting next to your partner, business partner, or teacher.

    Jovialis, thanks for posting the study, i find it very interesting.

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    Not to sound like a *****/Dwight Schrute, but wrong - we are addicted to stimulation.

  11. #11
    Regular Member GussieDarley's Avatar
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    Hey. I'm a new here and I agree that people are addicted to smartphones. This is a big problem with which we must fight.

  12. #12
    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    Take this forum for example. By the way: The "you are addicted" talk did not start with smartphones. I started hearing it when I first went online with my PC. I recall meeting people online with whom I was able to have conversations my offline friends would not be interested in having.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    Do we behave like this because we think that the people we have the chance to interact with in real life are not as good matches for us as those we can socialize with online? When I say socializing online I also mean with real friends who live far away from us and that we cannot meet regularly. It surely beats the hell out of talking with a boring neighbor.

    Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk

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    I like smartphones, I like to buy new models.... so, i wanna help with the source that will help you to purchase good device. For example, look at inew-u5f

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