App addiction and why it’s not your fault

If you find yourself spending hours on your phone, it’s partially not your fault. Mobile applications are intrinsically designed to be additive and have you glued to your screens. There a scientist behind each app that ensures that checking apps becomes a habit in a concept called behavior design as a school of psychology related to computer science. These in this field ensure that you’re hooked to apps and games.

One of the ways that apps case addition is that they trigger boredom or loneliness in us that get quenched by notifications. If you’re working on tax audits and you require CRA reassessments, if that is not your cup of tea, boredom will lead you to pick your phone to check or as soon as the phone buzzes. However, it does not end there; one will keep going back more and thus falls into an unquenchable cycle. Society likes upgrades,and therefore people will invest in updates or new phones, chasing the ultimate user experience.

From the above summary, we’ll look into some of the tricks app developers use to get us hooked. The first is push notifications; these attract our attention. It is not just to draw attention,but they also push us to act. You may get an email that needs responding or notifications from apps telling you about a limited time offer that you need to moveon.

The other approach is the idea of newness that you have to keep refreshing an app to get new content. Brands will label deals ‘hot’ or ‘new’ to get people coming back daily for a dose of the same. It is for this reason people keep checking apps, to see what has changed since they were last there. The beauty of these apps is that the content flow is simple and how to undertake actions- all you have to do is tap to like or share. When the user experience is cumbersome or requires too many steps (closing pop-ups or signing in), a user is likely not to use the app.

The attractive nature these apps have keeps us coming back for more. They use color and sleek designs to make the experience enjoyable. A reward system keeps users engaged. Badges or streaks encourage people to check in and use the app. An example is with fitness apps or other social platforms that congratulate you for your usage.

Therefore, next time you find yourself picking up your phone and not out of necessity, know that scientist went the extra mile to get you addicted. That realization would perhaps change how you look at your phone.