A look into mindless scrolling.
The other day as I was visiting with family, I took note of how everyone was glued to their phones.
I found it humorous that they were all unknowingly partaking in the same synchronous action. One arm was supporting the weight of their head resting on their hand, while the other clutched a phone swiping in an upward motion with their thumb. Like commanding an orchestra, I shouted, “HEY!” to gain everyone’s attention. They all looked up at me dumbfounded, like they had lost time for a moment and were snapped back into reality.
Who hasn’t been glued to their phone endlessly scrolling and oblivious to their surroundings? But are we aware of it? It seems the more I swipe, the more my social media app knows what I like and will continue to show more of. This causes me to get locked in for just one more reel! Funny videos of rams clobbering people will never get old for me. I swear it’s like the developers of social media apps know this, so they keep me REELed in (see what I did there?).
It’s not a conspiracy. Social media reels are designed to keep us addicted. Psychologists have been studying this trend and have linked the satisfaction of swiping up and receiving instant feedback to the reward centre in our brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in our comprehension of when something feels good or is enjoyed. Think taking a bite of that delicious birthday cake, or nailing a public speaking engagement where you receive a standing ovation. These are all good things that make us happy!
Why are they designed to keep us scrolling?
It is estimated that 2 billion people use Instagram once a month. This is enticing for advertisers to have their product or service seen by such a wide audience.
In 2021, Instagram generated over $45 billion in ad revenue. With dollars in that range, you can understand the incentive to develop ways to keep social media users hooked on their platform.
Zombie Scrolling Syndrome
There’s no other way to write these next few lines without it sounding a bit like an infomercial. Have you found yourself mindlessly swiping, without any real intent of finding something specific? Are you lost in your phone, but still receiving pleasure in the act of swiping? You may be experiencing zombie scrolling syndrome.
The good news is, some smart phone companies have developed a time limiting feature to lock out social media apps after a period of time has passed. This can help reduce you falling victim to the social media zombie apocalypse.
Comment below if you’ve ever experienced mindless scrolling. Has it affected your relationships? Do you limit your screen time? Engaging in these types of conversation can help us better understand our behaviour. After all, interaction is what separates us from being human, to being zombies!
What was the vegetarian zombie looking for while scrolling on social media?
Facebook: Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling? You may be experiencing Zombie Scrolling Syndrome. Read about it here: https://wp.me/p3QRy0-vWn
Twitter: Hey Zombies! Check out this blog about mindless scrolling. Your life may depend on it! #zombieapocalypse https://wp.me/p3QRy0-vWn
Hello Nick, I really enjoyed reading your post! I do yes sometimes at night stay up way too late due to the mindless act of scrolling through social media. luckily it hasn’t affected my relationships because this is mainly when I’m alone for the night and get lost on tik tok. but I have tried super hard limiting my screen time besides work since I work on my computer all day. I set the sleep mode for a certain time which triggers my brain to turn off my phone and sleep. Its helped!
Great tip! Setting a sleep mode would be a good reminder to get off the screen and rest our eyes! Happy to hear it hasn’t affected your relationships! Those TikTok reels are a trap! I could get lost in them for days if I wasn’t careful!
Appreciate you taking the time to read my blog!
All the best,
My gosh, can I ever relate to this post! To be honest, I don’t find myself suffering from zombie scrolling syndrome all that much but I sure do see this all the time! Like you, I am usually the one to comment on my friend’s phone use in social settings and try to make them remember what it is like to live in the moment. My partner for one suffers from zombie scrolling syndrome as she lays in bed every night stating over and over “It’s so late, I really need to go to bed” but then continues to scroll. I wasn’t aware of the time-limiting feature so I will have to get her to give it a try!
I really took notice of this issue when my son who recently turned 12, received a phone for his birthday. I’d ask him to do a simple task and an hour later, I would find him still scrolling. He’d be oblivious to the fact that an hour had past. This was the catalyst for me choosing this topic, as it’s clearly become a “thing” in our society, and in my home.
Appreciate you sharing your personal story with me! I wish you many present moments with those you care about!
All the best,
Hello Nick D,
I think this blog post was very well written and described the threat of Zombie Scrolling Syndrome very well (I hadn’t known before that this was a technical term). I also have a tendency to find myself scrolling through a long line of brain-numbing posts on social media. The time-limiting feature is a new concept to me. Before, I thought we had to rely solely on will-power.
I’m glad my blog was able to give you some new incite into endless scrolling. As much as we rely on will-power to make good choices, it’s good to receive some help from time to time to keep us on track!
All the best!