Why We Love Our Cell Phones

By Patti Wood MA, CSP
Speaker, Author and Coach

Yes, we love our cell phones.  Our cell phones can  give us a high, make us feel superior to others, comfort and advise us. There is so much to love.

Four Reasons We Love Our Cell Phones.

1.       When you interact with a technological device you make what is labeled in the research “quick shallow decisions”, such as, “I want this text. I don't want this text. ““I want this website it’s interesting. I don't want this one it’s boring” “I want to take this call.” “I don’t want to take this call.”
These quick shallow decisions lay down pathways to the ego centers of your brain. In fact, doing so gives you a bit of a hit of a chemical high. So when you check your phone you get a high, feel in control and because you are getting a hit to the ego centers of the brain it makes you feel superior to those around you. You can now understand why people are constantly checking their phones, especially when they are stressed or have no other activity or bored and why techno jerk doing it rudely, seems irritated and uncomfortable to have ask him to stop interacting with his phone or gets irritated when you want to talk with him face-to-face. Unfortunately, to successfully make quick shallow decisions you are laying down pathways to the ego portion of the brain and having the face-to-face interactions that lay down pathways to the social centers of the brain. You’re laying your tracks down to the ego center that produces that nice addictive high but interpersonal communication becomes more difficult and may even feel like an inferior means of interacting. Something you are "above" having to do. “
Again, when you talk to other people face-to-face you lay down neural pathways to the social centers of your brain.  The more you interact interpersonally human to human the stronger the pathways become. Meeting people and talking to them becomes easier and you become more skilled and confident and make a great first impression.
I discuss this in my book, “SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma”  

2.      In addition, I have seen that nonverbally the small portable device becomes a “comfort artifact” similar to a “blankie” or teddy bear. Touching it and interacting with it, can calm us and create soothing chemicals in the brain.

3.      Also, for many the phone becomes a companion so they touch it and interact with it whenever they feel alone.

4.      Finally, Siri and Google search offer the comforts of a all-knowing and wise parent that can tell them how to get to the grocery store, what to buy when they get there and how to cook it, and if they burn themselves while cooking how to sooth their “Boo Boo.”

My main website is www.PattiWood.net. You can also find my other websites, blogs and YouTube Channel by searching for Body Language Expert.

Here is another piece I have written on this topic.

Why Technology is Stressing Us Out? Technology and the Brain

I was speaking at a private school recently and the teacher updated me on some of the latest research on the brain being done at Emory University. It is very interesting so stick with it.

  1. The pruning of (reduction) neural pathways in the brain when we are young is based on how we use our brain. The brain prunes pathways we don’t use and keeps the neural pathways we use the most.
  2. The ones laid down when we are highly focused on activities like reading a book or having a deep conversation are deeper and have more capacity like wide superhighways. They can handle more information overload when we are under stress like a highway can handle more cars in commute time than a surface road.
  3. The neural pathways laid down for the quick shallow decisions we make when we are on technology such as, “I want this email I don’t want this one.” “I want this website in my Google search I don’t want that one.” are shallow and thin pathways that actually break apart under stress because of their low capacity, like a bridge could collapse if too many cars and trucks are on it at the same time. This is kind neural pathways that young people are forming the most.
  4. If we don’t have focused attention and deep social bonds and therefore only have the shallow, narrow, neural pathways formed with our use of technology we have trouble handling stress. We may feel overwhelmed and helpless and unable to make a decision. We may have panic attacks, freeze in place, get sick or call our mommies for help. Any one that uses technology a lot can form more shallow narrow pathways and therefore have less ability to think and function under stress.