Is It Possible to Be Addicted to Technology?

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I make a rule for myself that I try to disconnect from my desk and unplug by 3:00 in the afternoon or so. A lot of people I know can't do that. when I was an under graduate before I studied Botany I was studying Psychology, and psychology in Harvard those days was all behavior in how to be a Skinner, there was actually some straight skinnerians principles that apply to why we can`t turn it off, you know that the skinnerian body of knowledge was how animals behavior is influenced by how they get reinforcement, and the most powerful schedules of reinforcements, let`s say presenting a food pellet to an animal are what are called variable ratio schedules.

We are seeing animals pressing a bar, rattle pigeons pressing a bar and they get a food pellet a certain number of presses but the number of presses varies from time to time by an unpredictable schedule. When food is presented in that way animals will work themselves to death pressing a bar, that's the same schedule in which slot machines pay off and we see what happens there.

In many ways, email does the same thing. You know that there's a once in a while you get a food pellet, either a love note or a funny video or news of some business success, but they're relatively rare and they come according to a very low ratio schedule. So it's in relation to how many times you check email once in awhile you get a hit like that.