1010-54 039

1010-54 Texting Illustration

October 28, 2010

Photo Illustration by Jaren Wilkey/BYU

© BYU PHOTO 2010
All Rights Reserved
photo@byu.edu  (801)422-7322

Our Brains Are Wired to Respond to Text Messages

Smartphones are addictive and our brain’s instinctively respond to pings and social media updates, triggering dopamine rewards that make it a pleasure to check your phone. The expectation of text messages and the dopamine reward override the judgment of the prefrontal cortex where most judgment and reasoning occurs.

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Why this story matters for church leaders:

Cell phones present almost irresistible distractions, and this can impact more than our safety in our cars. We can miss out on valuable time with family, friends, and colleagues.

  • Always with us: Cell phones are always with us, and that can create a nervous habit of always needing to check something, even during a conversation.
  • Turning off notifications: One step we can take toward being more fully present is disabling notifications so that we have less pings to distract us.
  • Building community: Smartphones can be community killers if we don’t talk about the way they change our interactions with each other and our families.

Are there steps you can take to become less distracted by your cell phone or smartphone?

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