Why do people spend so much time on their phones?

If you go anywhere, you’ll probably see numerous people on their cell phones. Whether they’re texting, playing games, or talking to others on social media, people spend a lot of their time on cell phones. But why do people do this?

Note: These paragraphs do not apply to everyone. You might be one of those (lucky?) few who rarely use their phone, or don’t have a phone. Or you might be Amish.

Well, for many our cell phones have become addicting. The sounds a phone makes start to increase your dopamine (a compound that produces ‘happiness’), and you constantly crave that raise in dopamine until it becomes a normal habit to you. When you get a notification, your brain gets a raise in dopamine levels. You want to get more of that dopamine all the time, so you start constantly checking your phone wanting to see that your friend has sent you a text or someone has posted something new on social media.

Another reason people spend so much time on their phones is due to the easy access of information. On the internet, there are billions of websites that can provide you with information and advice for almost any situation. Your brain always wants to take the easiest path to success. A lot of the time, that involves looking up answers to a question on the internet or getting out a calculator app to do basic math that a 4th grader would be able to solve in their head. Even though you could easily figure these questions out in less time than it takes to pull out your phone, you instinctively think to pull it out so you have to do less brain work.

People also constantly are on their phones because of the ability to communicate with others. If you’re sitting at home feeling extremely lonely, want to hang out with friends, and have no way to travel, how else would you get rid of the loneliness besides going on your phone and texting someone? Phones make it extremely easy to communicate with anyone in the world, which gives people the ability to talk to their friends or family (almost) anytime they want to. If talking to others has become this easy, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it?

Now, I’m not saying any of this is bad. That would make me a hypocrite. But, it might help if every once in awhile people looked up from their phones and just realized how amazing life is.

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