Have you ever had a misunderstanding over text? Maybe you texted someone and they didn’t reply right away.. or their answer left you feeling rejected or frustrated?
Do you know why you feel the urge to put an exclamation mark or emoji next to your words? (hint: it has to do with how you use your vocal chords/folds in real life)
Why is that having more “friends” on facebook doesn’t actually make us feel more loved?
As mammals, our nervous system is physically wired to connect – in the flesh – with others.
There are tiny, ‘biological movements’ that we detect and project when we’re with someone.
Digital communication simply cannot keep up with how mind-blowingly sophisticated this ‘social connection system’ is – no matter how hard it tries.
In fact… we need these specific ‘hard-wired’ things to feel satiated from an interaction (some of them have to do with what we do with our voice) that we try really hard to put into digital form, but it just doesn’t do the trick.
So the more time we spend trying to socialize on a screen, the more we hunger for something else, and never quite feel ‘full’.
And it’s that very feeling of hunger and emptiness that leads to addiction to technology.
The mechanisms of addiction are so similar to chemical and substance addictions, it’s scary.
And it’s what app makers and social media giants depend on.
They must keep us addicted in order to survive. And they know how the human brain gets wired up for addiction. And they use that knowledge to make sure we stay hungry so that we come back for more.
What does this have to do with learning?
Not using our most evolved biological systems for in-the-flesh connection keeps us in a mild to moderate state of anxiety because it is depriving us of our needed hormones and ‘vagus nerve activity’ that helps us co-regulate (helps our heart’s pacemaker slow our heart rate and allows for blood flow to our digestive organs). Depriving ourselves of this overwhelms our sympathetic nervous system, and causes a variety of negative consequences.
As we’ve seen in previous episodes, the physiological state of ‘safety’ MUST BE there or the brain will not be able to access what it needs to learn.
So it’s more important than ever to understand and be aware of tactics that media and technology companies are using to make people addicted to their products, and how to protect our minds from being hypnotized by toxic media addiction.
A heads up for anyone who listened to the original Episode 3 (aired a few weeks ago). I decided to divide that episode into two parts, and this is the second half of that Episode. But I included a few more ideas on how to ‘guard our brainwaves’ against the harmful effects of media, so you can check that out in the last 15 minutes of this episode.
– What keeps us in a fear-based state and how media affects our view of the world
– How attempting to create connections through technology keeps us in a state of mobilization and defensiveness
– Tactics used by media & tech companies to keep us addicted to their products and platforms
– Controlling your social media usage
– The attention economy
– How to talk to teens about technology addiction in a way that they’ll actually listen
– Why it’s a positive thing for adolescents to question authority
– Consequences when our autonomic nervous system is constantly overwhelmed by our sympathetic nervous system
– How ‘toxic media’ creates addictive behaviour