In a 2014 study, Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia left students in a room for 15 odd minutes with nothing to do (phones were taken away). But they could give themselves a painful electric shock.
Almost 67% of the men gave themselves electric shocks to avoid boredom!
Our craving for novelty and aversion to boredom explains why addiction to Slack/email is almost as problematic as WhatsApp addiction, and in some cases, even more so.
In reality, we are not addicted to WhatsApp – what we are addicted to is the novelty it offers. Every time we open the app, we see new messages. The same holds for Slack, email, etc.
However, in case of Slack/email, we feel that we are ‘doing work’. And that feeling of virtuosity stops us from taking action, whereas WhatsApp at least creates some guilt.
And checking Slack/email every few minutes destroys our focus just as effectively as WhatsApp or Instagram.
If WhatsApp addiction is like an illegal drug, Slack addiction is like prescription drug abuse.
I am not being judgmental here – we all suffer from these ailments.
Don’t fall for this trap. Before checking Slack, just ask yourself, ‘Why do I need to check now?’
Once aware, we can defeat any craving.