Many of us check our smartphones several times a day, or even hourly, to check our messages, notifications or the latest news. Why has this gesture become so automatic and compulsive? What are the psychological mechanisms that lead us to scan information from the mobile phone?
The need for stimulation
One of the factors that explains our addiction to the smartphone is the need for stimulation. We live in a society where boredom is frowned upon, where you have to be constantly busy, entertained or informed. The smartphone offers us an unlimited source of stimulation, which allows us to fill the low moments of our day, such as journeys, queues or breaks. By scanning the information of the mobile phone, we seek to satisfy our curiosity, our interest or our pleasure.
The need to belong
Another factor that plays a role in our smartphone addiction is the need to belong. We are social beings, who need to communicate, exchange and share with others. The smartphone allows us to stay connected to our relatives, our friends or our colleagues, but also to larger communities, such as social networks, forums or discussion groups. By scanning information from the mobile phone, we seek to strengthen our social bond, our identity or our self-esteem.
The need for control
A third factor that influences our smartphone addiction is the need for control. We like to feel in control of our environment, our choices and our actions. The smartphone gives us the illusion of controlling what is happening in the world, informing us in real time of events, trends or opinions. It also gives us the ability to control what we show to others, by choosing what we post, comment or like. By scanning information from the mobile phone, we seek to exercise our power, our influence or our autonomy.
Our addiction to the smartphone is not insignificant. It reveals deep psychological needs, which are often unmet in our real life. It is not a question of demonizing the smartphone, which can be a useful and pleasant tool, but of becoming aware of its impact on our well-being and our mental health. It is important to find a balance between virtual and real, between connection and disconnection, between scanning and presence.