What’s your addiction?
Or should I say, what are your addictions – the one’s you are willing to admit?
We live in a world where everyone is one click away from going viral, where we share every detail of our lives on Facebook and can’t imagine going a day without walking around with a Starbucks cup in our hands.
When logos and egos rule, we’ve taken our addictions to a new level and we are no longer just talking about our additions to food, alcohol and drugs.
We already know:
- 69% of Americans are clinically obese as are
- 30% of children under 20 and now
- 17% of the global population.
Our love affair with alcohol and drugs is well documented:
- 1 in 4 reported binge drinking in the last month
- 1 in 5 college students have reported the characteristics of alcohol abuse disorder
- 1 in 3 Americans have tried or regularly use hard drugs.
The way businesses are run reflects our need to feed our addictions. The drumbeat of performance has quickened its pace from this cycle
to this year
, to this half
, to this quarter
, tothis month
to yesterday is too late
We want it all and we want it now!
In a society of the addicted, where extremism is the norm, understanding how addictions are formed can help us identify when we are headed down the wrong road and feed our needs by nurturing the habits we want.
The root of our addiction is found in experience – our own experiences and those relayed to us through others.
- Repeated experiences become habits.
- Habits unchecked become compulsions.
- Unchecked compulsions escalate and become engrained addictions.
- Watch what those around you do and value.
- Associate with people that share your values and goals.
- Be conscious of things you are doing differently than before and ask yourself ‘why?’
- If you find yourself doing things you wouldn’t normally do, find alternatives quickly.
For example, try asking if your client would rather join you at the gym instead of dinner and drinks – it might just work.
As habits become compulsions, we lose our freedom of choice. Learning to control the process could help you do many of those things you’ve been putting off for so long and help you stop doing those things you do that you know you shouldn’t…
Anyone want cake?
A series of studies suggests that dependence on smartphones may make us lazy, lower our intelligence and produce unhealthy habits…
Test yourself. Do you resemble these remarks?
Data from one study found a correlation between smartphone usage, physical activity and body composition and suggests that high smartphone use may be an indicator for a multitude of future heath related issues (Kent State University).
Intuitive thinkers (those that rely on instinct in decision-making) are more apt to use their smartphones as the source to answer virtually any question, a habit that could lead to intellectually laziness and correlates with a reduction in intelligence (University of Waterloo).
Checked your email in the last 45 seconds? Feel the need to do so now? Finnish researchers suggest that for many, a continuous tick-like checking of our smartphones provides a quick-fix-stimulus-cure-for-boredom that could become habitual and distract us from important things happening around us (Aalto University). Can you say, “Distracted driver” or “Facebook” addict?
How did you do? Me? I’ll have to check my iPhone and get back to you…
Aalto University. (2011, August 18). Study exposes habit formation in smartphone users. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725101222.htm
Kent State University. (2013, July 10). Glued to your cell phone? Research suggests it may reduce your physical activity and fitness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142014.htm
University of Waterloo. (2015, March 5). Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150305110546.htm
Researchers examined 500 million tweets (that’s right a whole day’s worth for Justin Bieber) to develop algorithms with the power to predict behavior–hours in advance.
- A standard social media post includes when you posted, who you’re with, where you are, etc.
- Algorithms applied to social media data may allow researchers to predict what you are planning next—even before you do it.
There’s always been a fine line between solid, preparatory relational research and being downright creepy but that won’t stop the steady drumbeat of capitalism! Many companies are exploring new ways to capitalize on your social media habits.
- Data from your toll-way EZ-pass may help predict when and where you’ll be parking your car – or at least the managers of the New York State Thruway think so.
- Xerox is also working to apply the concept to call center service…“What if you called a help line and they knew why you’d called before you said a word?”
Oh… And don’t even think about that thing – the thing you haven’t thought of yet – the thing you shouldn’t do – because someone, somewhere, may already know what you’ll have in mind…
Always look forward to hearing from you…write me and tell me your thoughts…
- About 40% of what you do every day is pretty much the same things, in the same situations, as you did yesterday… and the day before that… and the day before that.
- We establish patterns of behavior that allow us to reach our goals and then we do it again…wash rinse and repeat.
- In a recent study participants were given the tough task of tasting popcorn (hard work!), and as expected, preferred fresh popcorn over stale popcorn. However, when given the popcorn in a movie theater they ate just as much of the stale popcorn as they did the fresh.
- So if you want to change a bad habit?
- Change Environmental Cues for Existing Habits: someone who moves or changes jobs has the perfect opportunity to remove old cues, or if eating healthier is the goal – rearrange your fridge so the junk food is somewhere else,
- Allow for Time to Make the Change, Repetition is Key: it can take up to 254 days to form a new habit; and
- Link Good Habits Together: if you want to floss more, make brushing your teeth always the cue for flossing after.