April 1, 2024 – Getting addicted is the most logical thing for the brain to do. Sure, accomplishing a goal such as finishing an economics chapter, or going to the gym, would release a good amount of dopamine and activate the rewarding neural pathways of the brain. But why go through all that trouble when I can hop on my PlayStation … 

Our brain is constantly fighting a battle between pursuing short-term happiness and long-term goals. In other words, between instant and delayed gratification. The problem is if we keep accessing cheap and instant sources of dopamine around us, short-term happiness overwhelmingly keeps winning and our long-term goals keep getting pushed down the priority list at the cost of our addiction. 

It is this trap I believe our generation has fallen into. This addiction isn’t as ugly as injecting drugs and doesn’t have immediate repercussions like causing breathing problems, so it goes largely unnoticed. Being on our phone or any other screen is perfectly acceptable in society at all times and places. But does this not sound eerily familiar?

Our perception of screen addiction is on a similar journey as our perception of cigarettes though it is impossible to cut all screens out of our lives at this point. 

But it is a slippery slope and once we cross over the fine line separating healthy usage and addiction, the harmful effects can be destructive.

Our generation is the first one to grow up in a fully digital world — the guinea pigs of an almost completely digital society. We are also the future, and how we use our potential will determine the direction the world takes in the next 50 years.