Ever wondered why those little Facebook notifications make us excited? Do you know anyone that is compelled to check their phone for a new notification? The infographic below is specific to Facebook but I believe the root psychology is applicable to many other platforms. It's easy to joke about friends (or even ourselves) being addicted to Facebook. The addiction could actually be somewhat legitimate.
According to studies, when you receive a new notification, it activates the reward center of the brain. Answering that notification releases dopamine into your brain. Every hit recharges your brain in with dopamine in the same manner substances like heroin or cocaine do. While the infographic presents more of a worst-case scenario, it does explain the addiction.
What can curb this mental dependence? A few simple things like restraining computer use except for legitimate uses and engaging in offline activities are a good start. That said, I'm going to quit being online and go read a book now.
How do you think online behaviors are affecting our offline behavior?