I got the term iAssimulted from the Hawaiian Libertarian. Although he mostly talks about mobile phones in that article, he has another article that talks about digital entrapment. Working with the zombified youth of today, it is pretty clear that almost all youth (boys and girls) are addicted to their daily dose of
Satan influenced brainwashing digital media. Most adults are as well. Just look at most parents, as they look at their phone watch their kids.
There are two forces at play here. First, almost everything we do on the Web is “free”. However, programmers who make it all work are some of the most highly paid professionals today. So how is all of this free? Ads. Every product you buy gives companies money, who spend that money on advertisements and marketing, a lot of which goes to ads on the Web. So, to earn money, they need people visit their web page, so they can see the ads and earn the Websites revenue. Companies have put in a lot of research into what makes people visit a Web page. Since spying on your Web habits is pretty easy, companies are easily able to gather a lot of information about you and what you do online.
They use all of this information not only to target you but to also predict what your behaviors will be on the Web. They learned how the subconscious mind works. Since Web page views means more money, digital media companies have pretty much figured out how to keep you on their website as long as possible, and how to get you to come back.
The second force at play is your own mind. There are two main parts to your mind, the frontal cortex (or thinking part of your brain), and the limbic system (or the instinctual part of your brain). The limbic system is where your heart beat, respiration, etc are controlled, and your thoughts live in the frontal cortex. Although everyone want to believe that the frontal cortex is controlling what you do, it really is the limbic system that has the ultimate say. For example, everyone knows not to breath underwater or you will drown. However, after a certain amount of time, the limbic system will override our conscious thoughts and force the body to breath and drown itself, despite the fact that the victim could have survived a few minutes longer without air. Since your limbic system is pretty much just the same as everyone else’s, this makes it pretty easy for companies to figure you out, and “force” you to view their pages longer, and to keep you coming back for more.
The main driver in all of this is dopamine, which is the hormone your body uses to motivate you. Drugs happen to cause the body to release larges amounts of dopamine. Dopamine is the feel good hormone that you get whenever you do something that helps you survive. Eat a good meal and you get dopamine. Go running, get dopamine. Have sex, get dopamine. Dopamine is how the body motivates you to live a purposeful life.
Unfortunately, your body cannot distinguish how you get dopamine. Anything “good” will give it to you. Finding out new information is one way to get dopamine. Get an email, get dopamine. Find out your friend is getting married on Facebook, get dopamine. Find an article specially designed for get you to click on it, get dopamine. And thus, we get addicted to our phones and digital media.
When we start getting cheap sources of dopamine (drugs, porn, digital media, and even the manosphere), we start becoming dependent on it. Ever have the feeling, an anxious feeling, that you need to get online? You limbic system is feeling a drop in dopamine and is worried that you might die if you don’t get some. It then starts to cause fear and uneasiness, and it directs you to get another fix of dopamine.
One other issue at play is neural pathways. Neural pathways are your brain’s way of turning on autopolit. When you showered this morning, did you have to put a lot of thought to it? Neural pathways develop as you repeatedly do things. It allows you to shower while thinking about something else. It allows athletes to get really good at their sport through practice. Everything comes automatic for them. The worst thing a field goal kicker can do is actually think. Just turn his mind on autopilot and let him kick the ball the same way he has done a thousand times in practice. It would be better for a field goal kicker to think about sex while kicking a field goal than it would be to think about kicking a field goal and risk not following his neural pathway.
So, when your limbic system starts craving some dopamine, it just finds the a neural pathway it knows leads to dopamine, and like an obedient slave, your phone comes out, the password is typed in automatically, and your favorite media floods your brain with cheap dopamine. Your limbic system feels like it has done it’s job and solidifies your neural pathway even further.
Cheap dopamine has two effects on you. First, you waste a lot of time and miss out on a lot of experiences. Second, earning dopamine the hard way (like eating healthy, working out, having sex with an actual person, productively earning money, etc.) doesn’t seem worth it. Facebook and other digital media keep giving you cheap dopamine without putting forth much effort. It’s hard for things that are real to compete. However, despite the cheap dopamine making you feel good for a few hours, you know deep down you haven’t accomplished anything. Usually depression will hit you. Plus, you haven’t done anything to actually increase your status among others, nor God.
Unfortunately, we use this “drug” to buffer us from the realities of this world. Feeling tired, pull the phone out. Stressed about your homework, pull your phone out. Girl might reject you if you ask her out, pull your phone out. Working out might make us feel like a wimp, pull the phone out.
You can’t really live and experience this life, if your main source of dopamine comes from watching TV, looking at your phone, playing video games, attention whoring on social media (like most women do), texting friends, etc. Some people miss the most significant moments in their lives because they are too worried about
attention whoring documenting it on social media.
All of this is used to buffer you from really living. So here is what you can do about it.
- Commit to changing and ask for God’s help.
- Change the password on your phone and computer. This will give you a chance to jump out of your neural pathway, and develop a new one.
- Use browser plugins like StayFocus’d or LeechBlock to limit your time online, and limit which sites you goto. Although you can easily skirt around them, at least you have something to knock you out of a neural pathway when your time is up.
- Move your favorite apps around on your phone, change the way you get to your favorite sites. Delete bookmarks, or reorganize them. All of these little changes will give you a chance to jump out of your neural pathway. Be careful because if you keep forging ahead, your neural pathway will adjust to the new things pretty quickly.
- Learn how to deal with you emotions. First you have to identify them, next learn how to deal with them. This will probably include getting exercise, relaxing, meditating (both prayer and yoga-ish stuff), reading books, doing actual work, and even talking to your kids, friends, and family members face-to-face.
- And once again re-commit and fix what went wrong when you slip up into your old ways.
Sometimes a full reboot is needed. Go a full month without any news, social media, TV, video games, etc. Disconnect as much as possible. Then when you reconnect, be careful and set strict guidelines. Schedule your media time, and use settings to get the content you want most. On Facebook for example, set up a small group of people that you actually want to receive updates from. Then you can use that group to only get updates from them.
It won’t be easy, but once you start to experience real life again, you will be glad you committed to change. You might be surprised when you actually start feeling the spirit again.
Also, be warned. Cutting dopamine will make you miserable for a few days. You will find that you will lose your temper more often, have cravings for old habits, and be depressed. But it should go away in a few days. I’m not a psychiatrist, so if you start to go crazy please see one. If you already are seeing one, ask his advice before cutting the plug.