"Constant novelty at a click can cause addiction."(Unease over what to write next. Wanted to go out to the kitchen for a cinnamon roll, but didn't.)
I just saw a video explaining why I spend so much time hopscotching around social media. That's because Twitter, Reddit, etc. are designed that way. Say I'm sitting at the computer and experience a negative emotion such as anxiety. A neurochemical called dopamine is released in anticipation of surfing for a reward, such as a funny video or interesting post. The notion of finding something cool on social media will lead me to click-scroll-swipe away, often to the exclusion of doing something productive such as write-exercise-interact in person with other human beings.
Internet addiction isn't new, but this made sense to me as I recalled my cigarette smoking years. The anticipation of lighting up released the dopamine. I feel the same way when logging on. And I escape into social media whenever I've hit another writing roadblock just as I used to fire up a smoke.
On the video, the addiction portion begins around 2:15. As a side note, I watched this on Saturday afternoon. Then I turned off my computer and left it dark through Sunday. I was very uneasy all that day. But I did finish reading a book and scribbled out notes for a review. I also thought of an idea for a short story, cycled, and watched TV with my wife.
Today, I logged back in, more aware of how I feel when I experience the urge to bolt from a vexing task and surf around. Fascinating.
h/t: What I've Learned
Here's a darker, more global view of where dopamine addiction can lead:
h/t: Summer Rayne Oakes