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Thanks to the invention of infinite scrolling, social media platforms present a never-ending loop of heavily diverse content: one second you’re watching a funny cat video and the next you’re viewing disturbing news coverage. And while most of us know we ought to take a break from the mindless scrolling, it still makes logging off more difficult than ever.
Endless scrolling is designed to keep you engaged by design. Setting healthy boundaries with your phone is one way to take back control. In the latest episode of the Well+Good Podcast, podcast director Taylor Camille sits down with holistic therapist Emma Mahony and tech reporter Jennimai Nguyen to talk about why we just can’t seem to quit consuming content.
Listen to the full episode here:
“When it comes to scrolling and TV consumption, this majorly has to do with what’s called the dopamine loop,” says Mahony. “Dopamine is a chemical in our brains that is released after pleasure and reward-seeking behaviors.”
With the so much information to consume, it can feel like your appetite for new content is insatiable. “If you were full from eating or tired from working out, your body will tell you when it’s a good time to stop, but we don’t necessarily get those same signals when it comes to consumption of reality TV or social media,” says Mahony.
Emma Mahony, left, and Jennimai Nguyen, right.
Sound familiar? In this week’s episode, Mahony and Nguyen dig deeper into the cycle of guilt that endless scrolling can create. “If it brings you a pleasure, then that’s a genuine important part of your life,” says Nguyen. “But I think that we can maybe indulge in too much pleasure.”
Before you deactivate your all of your social media accounts and go off the grid, though, know that there’s a balance between total disconnection and overconsumption.
To learn more about how to find the right balance with social media, listen to the full podcast episode here.
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