4 SHOCKING Things That Happen to Your Brain When You Scroll Your Phone

habit planner Nov 09, 2021


Have you ever looked up from your phone and found that the time on the clock was way past what you expected? Time flew but you felt like it was standing still as you mindlessly scrolled. You find yourself feeling guilty about how much time you spent, or overwhelmed by how much you have to get done in (now) a limited amount of time. You lament over the time that just vanished


You’re suddenly a victim, a victim of your own self sabotage and buffering. 


You got sucked into the “scroll."


I want to say, “It’s okay, you're not alone, it happens!'' But the truth is, I’m just as disappointed in myself as you are when this happens. Not for being on my phone. But for BUFFERING with my phone. The bigger truth is, I can’t honestly say that I believe this form of time wasting IS healthy when used for unhealthy reasons.


I’m convinced we can do better. But how? 


Scrolling is like a long, dark, black portal that sucks us in and keeps us searching for something, anything, with quite literally - as a result of the power of the internet - NO END IN SIGHT. No one is exempt from the pull and enticement of this time waster. It’s even justifiable at times because we’re “doing research” or “need to find something”. But why do we get STUCK there? 


Using our phones is not the problem. Getting sucked in over and over...mindlessly…is the problem.


Everywhere you look, people are scrolling. Have you ever noticed just how many people around you are actively scrolling at any given moment? In restaurants, airports, grocery store lines, taking a walk…they’re scrolling. 


If you’re like me, you never intend to be a victim of mindless scrolling. I don’t think any of us with intentions and goals for our day mean to lose our valuable time to a social feed. I know you want to master being a High Performer and I also know that you can’t afford to continue wasting time. That said, it’s time to find some practical handles for conquering this “spell”. Because chances are, chucking your phone to escape it’s time-wasting-wrath, isn’t an option!


What Happens In Your Brain When You Scroll?


  • Information Overload - The human brain wasn’t designed to take in the quantity of information that rolls through your feed every second. Each swipe causes your brain to make an attempt to process a load that it biologically can not handle - this sends your brain into a type of paralysis that impacts the motivational system of the brain. This is why you often feel defenseless when you want to get off of the feed or know you  “should be doing something else”; your motivation systems have been compromised by the overload of information. 

  • “Deep Level Threat” - Because your brain begins to experience this motivational paralysis, it turns on a defense to combat the danger of “too much”. The defense message our brain sends is the refusal to engage on a deeper level. This defense mechanism continues to fire as you continue to scroll, and because of dopamine (which you’ll read about below) your brain spirals into a vicious, almost unbeatable cycle of screaming to itself “Abort, Abort! Danger! Do not engage! No, More! Give Me More!” 

  • “Age-Related Cognitive Decline” - Yep, you’re aging your brain, and not in a good way. A recent study published by the World Psychiatric Association found that social media’s effect on our brain is language, memory and judgement decline - closely resembling the decline of cognitive health in the elderly. 

  • Addiction - Each beautifully stimulating picture, flash sale, giveaway, kind compliment and every heart or thumbs up sends a signal of pleasure to your brain, which releases dopamine. Dopamine, as you likely know, is an addictive chemical. What you may not have thought about is the fact that your body will continue to increase its need for this chemical as you continue to reach a tolerance. Just like sugar or any addictive substance, as you build a higher tolerance for this chemical, your body will begin to believe it needs more and more of it. This is why as of 2020, we are spending an average globally of 145 minutes a day on social media. Just THINK what you could do with an extra 145 minutes. It is stated that on average we are currently interacting with our phones  2,617 times a day. That is an addiction. 


What I want us to focus on is this: When we drug ourselves with dopamine and freely allow information overload that triggers deep level threat and impacts our cognitive ability.


“We’re training our brains to not work to their highest potential.”


I find it easier to follow through with breaking a habit when I understand the WHY behind the habit I’ve formed or the habit I am seeking to form. Whether we like it or not, scrolling has likely become a habit, now that you’ve read these negative impacts on our brains, hopefully you have a reason to work toward kicking this habit to the curb. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for self-inflicted cognitive decline! 


If you’re looking for ways to better your habits or kick your bad habits that are impacting your performance check out my 90 Day Habit Reset course!


If you’re ready to GET BACK those 145 minutes (or more) you’re losing on your phone each day, by setting better intentions and disciplining your time management, check out my brand new Highest Potential Planner. You’ll be able to set intentions, build better habits and train your brain to seek your highest potential. 


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