Mike Lubofsky, Licensed Psychotherapist and Attorney
From an evolutionary standpoint, humans have been genetically programmed to become agitated and psychologically dis-eased when experiencing what is commonly referred to as “boredom.” The reason for such an innate predisposition is not difficult to understand. Early in our evolutionary history when survival depended on active, time-consuming, and energy-depleting activities of hunting and gathering, we would have quickly perished had we found “doing nothing” highly pleasant and satiating.
As time has progressed, we have evolved to a point at which most of us can realize the satisfaction of our basal needs for food, clothing and shelter in ways that allow for significant “leisure” time. Effectively harnessed, open, “unstructured” time can provide opportunity to experience a felt connection with the quiet, unmanifested unfolding of life moment by moment. Left to the control of our innate wiring absent conscious intention, however, this unstructured time gives rise to persistent agitation and dis-ease.
The advent and evolution of the “smartphone” over the past fifteen years – the launch of the first iPhone was announced on January 9, 2007 – has created a reality in which an escape from boredom and seek-and-reward opportunity is available literally at any moment. Prior to smartphones, we may have realized this escape through daydreaming and fantasy, but these activities seldom produced any felt “reward” which is often related to the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
With the smartphone, however, very powerful rewards are almost instantly accessible including social connection, food, sex, and the acquisition of knowledge. Absent awareness of our wired gravitation toward seeking behavior, we can spend enormous amounts of time and psychic energy pursuing the next hit of dopamine. Left unchecked, this gravitation leads to significant consequences that can adversely impact our relationships and baseline mental health.
Cell Phone Addiction Therapy incorporates many evidence-based psychotherapeutic approaches to help individuals effectively counter this innate gravitation toward seek-and-reward behavior. We help individuals reclaim agency over their attentional bandwidth and in the process strengthen their important relationships and significantly heighten their sense of inner peace. These changes can often have a significant impact on one’s overall physical and psychological health.