PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Do find yourself driven to check your phone for social media or text messages over and over each day?
You’re not alone. There’s science behind it, and a new effort to get people to put the phone down.
Jordan York is a Pittsburgh-based music artist who has created a rap song titled “Put Down The Phone.”
The lyrics include: “Don’t let life slip away. Embrace the moment the screen can’t imitate.”
“You go to Pirates games, you go to Penguins games, and so many people are worried about getting that picture for Instagram, getting that video for the Snapchat,” said York. “It’s like, are you there to enjoy the game? Or are you there to show people, ‘Hey, I’m having a good time. My life is great?'”
Dr. Brian Primack from Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health is impressed with the song’s message.
“I think the video is a very powerful piece of art,” said Dr. Primack. “I think that kind of message is probably a lot more powerful than a lot of our health education.”
No wonder we’re drawn to our phones, research done elsewhere has shown you can actually have a chemical reaction to social media.
“Dopamine, the pleasure chemical, is released when we see that “Like,” when we have that positive feedback,” said Dr. Primack.
Check out Jordan York’s video —
The “Put Down The Phone” video shows people around a table and in a crowded room with everyone buried in their phone rather than talking to the people with them.
The lyric is: “Put down the phone. You are not alone.”
“When I’m with my family and loved ones I want to engage with them,” said York.
Interestingly, the Center’s research found more time spent on social media can actually make you feel more isolated.
“We found that people who are on social media more, are at a higher risk of depression, anxiety and feeling lonely,” said Dr. Primack.
The video ends with another reason to put down the phone: someone killed while texting and driving.
York says he’s already gotten positive feedback from people who have lost loved ones in texting and driving related crashes.
While he says he has nothing against social media, he says there’s a time and place for it.
“It’s a great movement, and I just hope everyone gets behind it,” said York. “I have a positive message for the world.”
Dr. Primack says the more platforms you’re on, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., the more likely you are to be depressed.
And when it comes to how disruptive this is in your life, he says it’s not just about the time spent, but also the frequency. If you’re checking your phone 20 times a day or more that can be very disruptive.
Some people actually do get addicted, and there’s now such a thing as rehab for both video games and social media.