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Addiction, we can’t visibly recognise.

At a recent research study, based upon the work of previous findings — we wanted to conduct a simple experiment.

Block Social Media access at random times on Campus WiFi.

Now fair-disclosure, since the study is still being conducted, I’m not at liberty to go into details.

But yet it made for interesting share, hence here goes the experience.

We programmed a script, to randomly block Social Media access during specific Lecture Theaters — this way we could visibly view the reaction of the students.

At first, it was a calm and soothing mechanism — nobody seemed outraged.

Soon, the messages started to spread like wild-fire;

“Do you have trouble accessing (Insert Social Media Website)”

The I.T. department starts getting overloaded with complains that the Campus WiFi is acting up.

Furious, some students were visibly distraught.

It was as though we were witnessing a heroine epidemic.

Some students even passed the message along that they had no trouble accessing the websites on their phones through their personal network; it was the Campus WiFi to blame.

“Hey I found a fix! Just switch to 4G…it’ll work again”

“OMG THAT JUST SAVED MY LIFE! THANKS”

Students were on edge, impatient, constantly losing it at the slightest of variables.

“WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING!” — One student shouted during a lecture.

This was the horror we unleashed, out of sympathy — the experiment was instantly dropped.

A sudden glimmer of hope appeared, students were now suddenly more patient, calm, as though they had finally received their Dopamine Fix.

We were left shocked, is this what we were warned about all along?

The ramblings of Ted Kaczynski; convicted Serial Killer.

Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World.

George Orwell, 1984.

They all left us with a haunting message, one day the technology will control you.

Think about it…if blocking Social Media access sent a group of innocent students into a withdrawal state; how much is your phone controlling you?

Take easy steps, think about how often you look at your phone for notifications.

Our partners at the Neuroscience department are working on analysing Dopamine release by conducting experiments on subjects.

In the meanwhile, I’d recommend reading the following studies;

  1. Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update
  2. Social Media Triggers a Dopamine High
  3. Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice

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