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How To Get Unhooked

How To Get Unhooked

Life in 2019 is fused with technology, it’s everywhere and we love it. I can barely remember the days where smartphones didn’t play a large part of our daily habits. Let’s face it, we’re hooked. But did you know that technology companies actually design their products and services for us to get hooked? While I love using all convenient apps on my phone, I would also love to reduce screen time on my phone. I would love to use all that time more productive or more meaningful, like spending quality time, unwind or do some wedding planning. Therefore, I thought if we figure out how we got hooked, we’ll learn how to unhook.

The hook model


The hook model is a model introduced by Nir Eyal in his book Hooked. In this book, he describes how we get external and internal triggers to use a certain technology, that time we spend on it is the investment and we apparently get awarded with a dose of dopamine. This hormone releases good feels in your brain that cause the immediate gratification, when you’re browsing your social media for example.  

If you take a little distance it is pretty crazy. It is weird that staring at people’s attention crying posts on Instagram is considered a variable reward. Or at least, according to this model. If you take a quick second to think about it, it doesn’t add up. Yes, I love to see how my friends are spending their days, but is it really a reward I need to invest in several times a day? I guess not.

Find out your triggers

In order to reduce our screen time, we need to grab the problem by its roots and find out which external and internal triggers are responsible. For me, my triggers are as follows.

  • Boredom

  • Habit of clicking Instagram when I am on my phone, doing something else

External triggers

  • People asking whether I have seen a post

  • The red notification sign in the corner of an app

To mitigate these triggers, I often use the airplane mode on my iPhone. Everything is less attractive without internet. Some days I even delete my social media apps and so far, the only one that I have installed back on my phone are WhatsApp and Instagram. Facebook and LinkedIn never found their way back on my phone. Less rigorous options are to move your social media apps to the last page on your home screen, use a black and white filter and simply turn of notifications. I never have my notifications on anyways as I hate the sound of it (bothers me when I am working or just focused on something). 

Now I am curious to know about your phone habits. Are you hooked? What will you do to get unhooked? Let us know in the comments below.

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