In this article we going to talk about something that is right in hindsight, yet no one wants to talk about. This topic is something that big companies, and corporations don’t want you to know. Yet this topic is something that is so obvious but no one wants to accept it.
Why Am I Socially Anxious?
A few years ago I started on the road to self improvement. I improved my mind, body, career, and finances. But something that was still a working progress was improving my social skills. No matter how calm and relaxed I was throughout the day, anytime I knew that I was going to have to talk to someone I got anxious. Psychologist would call this social anxiety. Social anxiety is crippling, for some. I know a few people who won’t even go outside because of how bad their social anxiety is.
But if you look closely, there is a correlation between the people who were suffering a bad case of the social anxiety and the ones who could go up to any stranger and talk to them for hours.
The Experiment That Changed It All
I was confused to why I still felt socially anxious despite basically resetting my whole life for the better. I thought that if ate healthier, meditated, drank plenty of water, and worked out everyday then that should fix my whole life. Well, it didn’t. It only fixed the things that didn’t involve people. People would come into my work and my heart would start to beat faster. My speaking even was faster. When I’m by myself I talk like a speaker on stage but when I’m in front of people I begin to sound like a stuttering auctioneer.
As I was resetting my life and improving it, I stumbled upon something called a dopamine fast. The whole concept of it was resetting your reward center by basically taking a temporary break from things that excite your reward center. Example of these things are movies, TV shows, drugs, alcohol, junk food, social media, porn, and so on. Basically the things that have become people’s vices and made them addicted.
Fasting From Everything Addicting
So after reading up on a dopamine fast I decided to try it for myself. Before starting the fast, I had to figure out what am I addicted to, or at least what excites my reward center the most. The things that excite my reward system the most is TV shows, video games, and my phone. My smart phone is my biggest vice. I do everything with my phone, driving, eating, working out, going to the bathroom, walking, to even talking to people. Even when I’m talking to people in person my phone is in my hands.
When I went into work on the 2nd day of the dopamine fast, I noticed something strange. I began to initiate conversations with people, something I normally never do. I even began to add a lot more to the conversations than my normal “hi how are you doing, I’m fine, bye” conversation. After one day of a dopamine fast, it was like my social anxiety was gone.
Here’s why the social anxiety disappeared: Every minute of the day, your brain is looking for things that give it a rush of dopamine. What gives it a high rush of that pleasure feeling is sugary, salty junk food, electronic devices like television, cell phones, and video games. What also gives it a rush is drugs, and alcohol. Hence why Americans are overweight, lazy, and on drugs. From here it’s only getting worse. Anyways, since my brain wasn’t getting dopamine from the normal source like my smart phone, it had to seek it from other sources, like interacting with people.
My brain was now motivated by naturally stimuli instead of the artificial stimulation from electronic devices. Before I didn’t even want to socialize unless it was from behind a screen. After fasting from my cell phone, I wanted to socialize and I even looked forward to going into work so I can socialize.
A Time Before Smart Phones
If you are 20 years of age or older, think of time before smart phones and all these advanced technology. What did you do for fun? You went outside and played with your friends. You endlessly socialized until the sun went down. Not a lot of people back then were socially anxious, and depressed. Today it’s quite different. Everyone seems to be socially anxious and depressed, all because they have altered the circuits in their reward system. Now nothing makes them feel good or happy besides for screens and drugs. The small natural joys of life like simply walking outside into a warm sunny day is no longer rewarding and pleasureful. What is pleasureful now is video games, smart phones, and drugs. The most common one being the smart phone.
The Smart Phone Vice Grip
After that 4 day dopamine fast, I realized that my cell phone was the cause of my social anxiety. Because after the fast was over, I went back to allowing myself on my phone and my social anxiety instantly came back. Once my brain started to get a higher rush from my phone again, it didn’t want the low rush of dopamine from human interaction anymore.
Big companies don’t want to tell you that smart phone are ruining your life because then they lose millions of dollars. You being on your smart phone almost all day, these big companies can constantly market and reverse market their products to you. You take away all the smart phone users and TV watchers then these companies lose millions to billions of revenue and now they have to market a much more expensive way like billboards and magazines.
To confirm my hypothesis, I even observed young kids ages 5 to 13 and how they interact with their family and friends and I noticed that kids are even less social and more in fear to say anything. Like they don’t even know how to speak. This generation of kids growing up today will be far smarter than the previous generations with information at their fingertips but they will also be far less social, far less motivated, and far less physically and mentally tough due to lack of real life experiences and human interaction.
We as humans are designed to constantly socialize with other humans, not sit behind a screen all day.
Conclusion To The Experiment
The results of the dopamine fast was the TV and video games weren’t the culprit to my social anxiety, it was my smart phone. I was able to pull out my phone at any given time and get hits of dopamine in seconds. But when I didn’t have my smart phone on me, I felt like I wanted to be more social and my social skills even improved. I had more interesting things to say, I was more witty and funny. All from giving my phone a break and not using it as much.
Your smart phone is a double edged sword, yes it is so helpful and you could basically run your life from it but it can also literally RU(I)N YOUR LIFE. It makes you anxious, depressed, and unmotivated if not used consciously. So my advice is to use your phone when you need to but don’t let it use you. Be conscious with what you are using your phone for.
Get Our First Published Book
Listen To Our Podcast
Get Some Wolf Merchandise
Follow Us On Instagram For Daily Content