Smartphone addicted? That’s normal, that’s… hormonal!


That’s the average number of times we touch our smartphone every day. That can even be up to 5.427 clicks, swipes and scrolls per day for the biggest users!

Such are the findings of a study conducted in 2016 by DScout.

In 2017 in 60 seconds in the world:

  • 29 millions of WhatsApp messages have been processed,
  • 350,000 tweets posted on Twitter,
  • 243,000 pictures downloaded on Facebook,
  • 210,000 snaps downloaded on Snapchat,
  • 65,000 pictures downloaded on Instagram,
  • not to mention the 8 millions of Google queries, the 1.5 millions of titles played on Spotify and the 87,000 hours of videos seen on Netflix…

Infography: what smartphone addicted people produce in 60 secondes chrono on Internet

Infography: what smartphone addicted people produce in 60 secondes chrono on Internet

As unbelievable as this may be, we spend in average 2h25 on our mobile screen. And even here, I am talking about connections done on an active phone – 47% of the sessions would obviously be done on locked screen (displaying notifications or messages, checking what time it is, skipping to the next song ). Which brings us pretty far from the 2h25.

Mobile users even come to check their phone in the middle of the night if they happen to wake up: 87% of the DScout study participants activated their phone at least once between midnight and 5:00 AM.

No doubt left, we are all smartphone addicted – but please don’t panic, it can be treated!



It’s all a matter of hormones

Since the dawn of time, humans have been driven by 4 hormones called “happy hormones” that are crucial to our survival:

  1. Dopamine

It is the motivation hormone, it pushes us to achieve our goals.
This hormone is extremely addictive though and we quickly enter the vicious circle of the “dopamine seeking-reward loop”.

  1. Oxytocine

This is the hormone of love, the one that provides us with this love, trust, security feelings, and that strengthens our social bonds.
Oxytocin level raises for instance increases as we help someone.

  1. Serotonin

This hormone brings well-being and self-confidence. It is responsible for the sense of pride we feel and it increases with the recognition from others, towards others and our own recognition towards ourselves (I know, I know… even I had to read several times what I just wrote to make sure it sounds right …).
The problem is that this molecule is rapidly assimilated and makes us look for more of it.

  1. Endorphin

Endorphin covers up pain. It gives us immediate high after intense sports and helps us through endurance sport.

But now you will tell me that my “happy hormones” do not explain why I feel the need to connect in the middle of the night?…


Our addiction to social networks is closely intertwined to the happiness it gives to us

For each interaction on social networks, we expect a strong DOSE (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphin) of happiness!

In general, we spend 30 to 40% of our discussions talking about ourselves. These proportions are compounded on social networks where it can go up to 80%!
The obvious reason is that in 10 minutes on social networks,, our oxytocin level can increase up to 13% (hormonal spike equivalent to some people on their wedding day) and And all the goodwill that comes with it: love, trust, empathy, generosity.

« Oh! I got a text, who is writing to me? »

« Cool! My favorite artist retweeted me! »

« Wouahhhhh!!! 10 new likes on my Insta picture! People love meeeeee »

« Ha ha! Tania’s comment on my Facebook post is sooo funny – wait, wait, I’ll answer, we’re gonna have some good fun! »

These are all dopamine shots that we take all day long.

And the more likes we get,

the more dopamine shots we get ;

The more dopamine we get,

the more we want…

And so we get caught in the “dopamine seeking-reward loop”…

Thus begins our permanent quest for reward, that make us feel happy, that gives us this sense of achievement, of well-being and recognition towards others… we fine-tune (dare I say build) our image by publishing only the pictures, comments or videos that will bring us more engagement from our friends and followers. We position ourself the way we want to be seen and it becomes so “true” that we can even boost our self-confidence just by visiting our own Facebook profile!

Social networks founders got it well and use these levers to keep us connected: the more likes we get, the more we interact. The more we interact, the more information we give them on our habits and preferences. THE information that will enable them to provide us with more accurate content that will increase our engagement on their social platforms!
This is exactly what Ayman Hariri, Vero co-founder, decries – the app that has made its comeback 2 weeks ago. Indeed, with Vero, he promises an app promet that transposes on the web the behaviors that people usually have in real life. An app with no ads nor algorithms that put back control in the hands of the users and sets us free. « free to honest, be open, be provocative, be obsessed » (sic) – in a word, to be ourselves… but obsessed, as Vero was made so we “can play music and buy stuff without leaving the app”…

Simply put, it looks like we will spend a couple of more hours on this “new true social network”…


But as I was telling you earlier, overcome our smartphone addiction is possible! Follow me experiencing my first web-detox day soon!

What about you, tell me more about how attached you are to your smartphone? Your story may inspire my next article 🙂





One Comment

  • Atif

    A very nice read and it’s interesting to see that we need to start to realise that people are getting real health issues regarding internet because of mobile apps and social media!

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