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15 August 2016

Red Pear (+ "Happiness Tip: stop checking your freaking phone")

If you're interested in my Innernet workshop, you might be interested in this article, "Happiness Tip: Stop Checking Your Freaking Phone":

"Two new studies support your sense that you will be happier (and less stressed) if you check your phone less. A study of college students at Kent State University found that people who check their phones frequently tend to experience higher levels of distress during their leisure time (when they intend to relax!).

In another study, Elizabeth Dunn and Kostadin Kushlev regulated how frequently participants checked their email throughout the day. Those limited to checking their email only three times a day (vs. an average of 15 times) were less tense and less stressed overall.

Unfortunately, it usually doesn't work to just will ourselves to stop a compulsive behavior. We check our phones and our email because it provides us with what researchers call 'variable-ratio' reinforcement—once in a while we get an email or message that is particularly rewarding, and that once in a while is enough to keep us checking compulsively. (Slot machines also provide variable-ratio rewards.)

Instead of willing ourselves to just check less often, we can configure our devices and work time so that we are tempted less often. The goal is to check your phone just a few times a day—intentionally, not impulsively. Our devices are thus returned to their status as tools we use strategically—not slot machines that randomly demand our energy and attention...." [Keep reading]

~Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work.

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