No matter where you go these days, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have his or her face buried in a mobile device. A new study suggests this seemingly anti-social behavior could actually be hyper-social instead.
For this study, researchers at McGill University in Canada reviewed existing literature examining smart technology from an evolutionary standpoint. According to the researchers, the most addictive smartphone functions are based in evolution and tap into our desire to connect with other people, monitor the activities of others, and be monitored by others.
However, while mobile devices harness a natural, healthy, social need, fast-paced connectivity can also push the brain's reward system into overdrive and lead to unhealthy addictive behavior. Turning off notifications, establishing appropriate times to check your phone, and ignoring evening and weekend work emails may help restore a healthy balance with technology.