addiction vs. choice

June 04, 2021

We’re all aware that dopamine is what motivates us for cheap short-lived pleasure, like checking our phones for notifications; while serotonin controls long lasting satisfaction, like going for a walk in the sun. 

The more dopamine is released, the less serotonin is active, and vice-versa.  One goes up, the other goes down; both levels cannot be high at the same time.

There is a link between low levels of serotonin and high impulsivity. This is why when we are glued to our phones for that constant dopamine release, we are drawn to more impulsive activities, like online shopping. 

We are not addicted to the technology, we choose to live in the digital world, and are highly aware of the choices we make. We understand these mechanisms, and make decisions based the desired result. For example, we shop or post to social media to get that dopamine rush, and pull back from our dopamine producing activities when we feel they are getting out of hand. 

The idea of addiction in and of itself is the problem. If you believe in addiction vs. choice, you create some invisible sense that something else is making decisions for you, thereby, preventing yourself from making a different choice.