Excessive scrolling works because of emotional avoidance. (and how to stop it)

What's interesting and dangerous about a "feed" is that it is a powerful avoidance mechanism that keeps people in avoidance.

For example, you notice a painful emotion in your body, so you do what you always have done: reflexively reach for your phone and begin scrolling.

When you scroll, attention is removed from your body and invested in the feed or whatever content you consume.

This offers "relief" from the emotional pain in your body, yet it doesn't do anything about it; it just postpones the emotional integration.

So, the emotion is still there. But when you start scrolling, you'll encounter different micro-triggers on the feed, which create more small reactions you want to avoid feeling, so you scroll even more.

Which leads me to the conclusion that:

Avoidance is the engine that powers excessive scrolling behaviour. And the business models of the largest social companies.

The solution?

Stop avoiding your emotions. Before scrolling, ask yourself, "What emotion am I avoiding right now?" and take a few breaths to welcome it. Often, you'll notice the desire and need to scroll go away. 

Scroll because you want to, not because you need to.