all posts tagged 'dopamine'

On Disruption and Distraction

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Value-driven responses are not as immediately appealing as finding a hyper-charged digital escape, but these latter escapes inevitably reveal themselves to be transient and the emotions they’re obscuring eventually return. If you can resist the allure of the easy digital palliative and instead take on the heavier burden of meaningful action, a more lasting inner peace can be achieved.

I’ve been finding more and more ways to become detached from my devices the past couple weeks1, and believe it or not, it has been an unbelievable boon for my mental health.

Here is a short list of things I’ve done:

  • Turned on grayscale. I wanna find a way to wire this up to my shortcut button on my iPhone 15 Pro, but (a) too much work and (b) see my next bullet point.
  • Steeling my nerves to activate my Light Phone 2 that I got for Christmas. It’s a pretty big commitment to switch off the iOS ecosystem, but I’m getting close to trying it for a month or so.
  • Deleted most apps off my home screen. Everything is a swipe away anyways, so why not just have a barren screen that messes up your negative muscle memory?
  • Used a content blocker to block Reddit and LinkedIn. I can’t tell you what a relief it has been to not go down the politics rabbit hole this cycle so far, and that’s all because I blocked Reddit. LinkedIn is just as bad for me, and if I am going to keep building my network over there, I should try to be strategic about it and not mindlessly scroll it all day.

Tech is so, so cool, don’t get me wrong. But I, for one, am sick of being addicted to the allure of social media.

I’d rather spend my tech time building goofy websites and writing stuff.

  1. Except for the last three days, because I installed the Delta emulator for iOS and cannot stop playing Dr. Mario.  

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'Anti-dopamine parenting' can curb a kid's craving for screens or sweets

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Studies now show that dopamine primarily generates another feeling: desire. "Dopamine makes you want things," says neuroscientist Anne-Noël Samaha. A surge of dopamine in your brain makes you seek out something, she explains. Or continue doing what you're doing. It's all about motivation.

And it goes even further: Dopamine tells your brain to pay particular attention to whatever triggers the surge.

It's alerting you to something important, Samaha says. "So you should stay here, close to this thing, because there's something here for you to learn. That's what dopamine does."

And here's the surprising part: You might not even like the activity that triggers the dopamine surge. It might not be pleasurable. "That's relatively irrelevant to dopamine," Samaha says.

When I was a kid, dopamine was the "happiness molecule".

These findings (which position dopamine as a mechanism which forces you to pay attention to things) cause much of our lifestyles to make more sense.

You keep doom scrolling not because you like it. You do it because your brain keeps telling you "this is important stuff, you should pay attention."

It's not an excuse, to be certain... but as the 20th century laureate G.I. Joe said: "knowing is half the battle."

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