Categories
Psychology Tech

Ludic loop

In his blog post on breaking phone addiction, Erik Barker uses a quote from NYU marketing and psychology professor Adam Antler to explain why we keep checking our phones again and again. The process is called a “ludic loop.” #gif #socialmediaaddiction
via Reddit

In his blog post on breaking phone addiction, Erik Barker uses a quote from NYU marketing and psychology professor Adam Antler to explain why we keep checking our phones again and again. The process is called a “ludic loop.”

The “ludic loop” is this idea that when you’re engaged in an addictive experience, like playing slot machines, you get into this lulled state of tranquility where you just keep doing the thing over and over again. It just becomes the comfortable state for you. You don’t stop until you’re shaken out of that state by something.

So how we do we keep ourselves from going down the Facebook and Instagram rabbit hole? We employ a “stopping rule.”

It’s a rule that says at this point it’s time for me to stop. It breaks the reverie and makes you think of something else; it gets you outside of the space you’ve been in. The best thing to do is to use a declarative statement like, “I don’t watch more than two episodes of a show in a row, that’s just not who I am.”

As Barker points, you can also remove the dopamine hitting apps from your phone and replace them with something useful like the Kindle app to encourage more reading. And in the worst case scenario, you can throw your phone into the ocean, or just leave it in an inconvenient place to prevent the urge to take another futile gamble.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

Is adult playtime over?

Adults can’t handle free time — unstructured activity makes them anxious.

From high school on, all people are trained to do is work. So they forget how to play.

Yet, children always seem to find a creative outlet. They have no problem building something out of Legos or using their imagination to draw.

On the contrary, the adult version of playtime usually consists of material consumption. We work to buy things we can enjoy when we are not working. Americans cling to purchases as a substitute for boredom.

When we get bored at our jobs, we procrastinate and chase down the nearest source of dopamine. We check email and social media to appear “busy” at work.

Office environments can inspire a cycle of procrastination:

We live to work, and we work to live. We feel meaningless without a title and a checklist.

But what if the office was like a jungle gym or a treehouse where workers would want to play again?

Playtime may be over but it that doesn’t mean the crayons need to end.