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Psychologist issues urgent warning over ‘popcorn brain’ from scrolling on your phone
Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Psychologist issues urgent warning over ‘popcorn brain’ from scrolling on your phone

Do you want you brain to emulate a bag of corn kernels exploding? I think not.

A psychologist has warned against scrolling on your phone and ending up with 'popcorn brain'.

Yup, popcorn brain. You may already feel like your head is filled with soup - it only having taken two months of 2024 to burn you out - but now you should also worry about your brain popping like pieces of corn according to one psychologist.

It sounds worse than it is, but if you want to preserve the last remaining shreds of sanity you're desperately clutching on to, then you should probably read on.

We all do it - unless you have the mental strength of Yoda. Waking up and having a quick scroll through our feeds, or sitting on public transport during our dreary commute drawing our phones from our pockets to click on Instagram opposed to actually making some positive use of the time and reading a book.

Or there's the classic late-night doom scroll, which makes you so wired you can barely sleep or leads you to send a paranoid text to your partner after an intrusive thought is sparked by a social media post.

Despite knowing it's bad for you, you do it anyway, however, clinical psychologist Dr. Daniel Glazer's warning may be the message you take heed of to finally cut the habit.

The psychologist tells Metro your scrolling habits could mean you're suffering from 'popcorn brain', which 'refers to the tendency for our attention and focus to jump quickly from one thing to another, like popping corn kernels'.

Granted, Dr Glazer notes some popular apps are designed to encourage such behaviour with 'variable reward schedules, micro-dosing of dopamine, and purposefully addictive designs optimised to maximise engagement over well-being,' but if you've found yourself getting bored half-way through TikTok videos then you should probably take a hard look at yourself as well - it takes two to tango after all.

The question is, what can you do about it?

Most of us are guilty of doom-scrolling every now and again.
Getty Images/ Jaap Arriens/ NurPhoto

Well, in order to combat your brain getting 'accustomed to and expect[ing] frequent distractions and immediate gratification' and re-train it to be better at 'sustained concentration' activities such as 'reading, work projects or in-person conversations,' there are some rules you can put in place.

First, make sure you order yourself to a period of time per day where you're not allowed on any technology. Yes, like a child, you need to have some no-screen time if you want to rewire your brain and attention span.

Dr Glazer also recommends 'consciously pausing to focus on a single task' - if you need to go on your phone to answer an email, that's fine, but make sure that's all you're doing and you're not getting sidetracked.

And ultimately, if that's not working, nor cut-off timers either, Dr Glazer adds you can always 'periodically deleting apps' if you really need to 'regain some control'.

Or do what I wish I could and just throw your phone away, abandon your normal life and go live on a desert island where you have to fish for food and hike to find water. The choice is yours.

Topics: Health, Mental Health, Phones, Social Media, iPhone, Psychology, Technology, Science