Are You “Self-Medicating” with Your Gadget & Media Addiction?

As a former drug addict, I’m uniquely qualified to tell you that, addiction is… addiction. Think realistically about your media and devices, because doing so will steal back time, energy, focus and more.

To wit, here are just a few parallels between media and other substances, based on clinical characteristics of addiction from the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence…

First and foremost, there’s…making certain you maintain access to the drug. It’s called “preserving the stock.”

My father did the ultimate move for an alcoholic – he bought a tavern. I maintained my access to drugs by cutting out my undependable local drug dealer — and going straight to the source in Harlem – at the height of the crack epidemic.

Are you making sure you’re never without your device? Even in meetings? Even at mealtime? Even at bedtime?

Then there’s…not meeting work obligations because of the addiction. The average American spends nearly one quarter of their workday browsing social media for non-work-related activities.

ncanny Neurochemical Similarity

My drugs, and our media, both deliver hits of dopamine – the feel-good neurochemical that makes us feel alive. Every time you swipe, get an email, delete an email, get a like on your post – you get a hit of dopamine. And why stop reading my newsfeed after just a few minutes, when I’m getting this delightful stream of dopamine hits?

As digital freedom advocate Tristan Harris said recently in The Atlantic, our apps and websites are engineered to be addictive. He says, “On the other side of your Facebook newsfeed, there are a thousand people whose job it is to break down your self-control.”

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