I was attempting to zoom up Peel the other day, going from the metro up to the Faculty of Education. There were McGill students everywhere, going up and down the hill. I was in a crazy rush, trying to move through the hordes of students as quickly as possible. And I kept having to move around, step by, folks on their cell phones. I got more and more irritated as my rush up the hill was impeded. I had to wonder – why is everyone glued to their cell phones – in class, in cafes, in the car even. Why can’t anyone put their cell phones down? And so, I looked it up. The answer is brain hacking. Cell phones and their corresponding software have been engineered to deliberately cause an addictive relationship with your phone via apps and social media. There are code writers out there who are neuroscientists that are writing code with the intent of kick-starting an increased production of reward-related dopamine activity, a factor that can lead to addiction. I find this reminiscent of the genetic engineering that was invested in creating addictive tobacco by the cigarette industry. The bottom line is that I am going to have to give myself more time as I move from the metro to my classes. Addiction is addiction, and I am going to have to accept that people walking, and talking, or texting (which is by far more irritating) is a product of our current dependency on our technology.
Banner Image by Heather M.