Problem: Online gaming is hurting your relationships and making you a social outcast (IRL at least)
Step 1: Understand the problem
To be clear, gaming is not bad for you. There’s plenty of studies that talk about the positive impacts. Too much gaming is like too much of anything though, unhealthy. How do you know it’s too much? That’s why we’re here. When you are choosing gaming over reality on a regular basis, chances are it’s too much. It’s important to understand that the best games tap into the addictive parts of our personalities. Each success, each win, each new level hits the brain like gambling. This is true especially if there is randomness associated with those successes, and we all know gaming uses random number generators constantly. When you get that win, your brain responds with a hit of dopamine. That dopamine can create dependence and ultimately addiction if you find that you have to game more and more to get that win.
This is the same technique we use to train animals. You are essentially becoming a pet for the games that have you hooked. The downside of being a pet is loss of freedom. Most of us can easily step away from games when interesting stuff in the real world is going on. Those of us that can’t most likely have a problem. If you’re relationships with your partner or friends play second fiddle to gaming, it’s time to reevaluate. If gaming starts impacting your work or your schooling, it’s definitely time for a change. Before you go too far, it’s worth finding out how bad it is.
Step 2: Be mindful of how bad it is
Over the next three days we will discover just how bad it is. First we will track the amount of time you are spending gaming. Second we will track how many times you chose to game over some other opportunity in the real world.