Beth Kantner has a good post about the Ludic Loop.
Well it’s one reason we get addicted to our mobile phones.
She cites Larry Rosen, who studies technology and psychology:
Rosen’s research has found that the average person checks their phone every 15 minutes or less and that approximately 50% of the time there isn’t a notification beckoning them to do so.
The urge comes from within – a thought or prompt that says “You haven’t checked your email or social media, check it.” Checking in generates cortisol, the same stress hormone that made primitive man anxious and hyper aware of his surroundings so he would not get attacked by a saber tooth tiger. According to Rosen, we check our phones to reduce anxiety.
Our technology (mobile phones, email, and social media apps) create stress for us and the only way to reduce it is to reach for your phone and check your email! This is a Ludic Loop!
Here’s the full article on Beth Kantner’s site. She links to some other good articles on how to break the loop. But basically as I’ve said elsewhere our attention is all we really have in life that we can do anything about. That’s why we can’t afford to have it hijacked!