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5 times you were tricked by apps to stay longer on your phone

By using psychological tricks, app designers have got you hooked!

A recent study found that teens in college check their phone 150 times in a day. The reason for checking their smartphones was found to be FOMO: fear of missing out on information.

App developers are using this information to their advantage by adding elements in apps to make you stay longer than you intended to. Here’s how.

New notification alerts
Former Google employee Tristan Harris points out that some apps take a second or two longer for the notifications to appear on your screen. This technique is called the “slot machine effect.” The feeling that you’re going to be rewarded as soon as you open Twitter or Facebook.


Default setting
Most apps have a default setting to send you all notifications from comments on your posts, friends’ comments on your posts, picture/video uploads by friends and even if your friend has posted something after a long time. There is a process to change the settings, which many don’t bother to. The objective of this technique is to get you back to use the app.

Timeless scroll
Will the feed ever end? You guessed it right, it might never. Using the FOMO; fear of missing out phenomenon among teens, app developers provide an endless stream of content to keep you hooked.


Spinning wheel
When you swipe down on any app, a spinning wheel indicates that the page is getting refreshed. However, sometimes there aren’t any more updates and still it takes the same amount of time. Here is another trick to watch out for.


Memories – keep track of your social life
What did you do on this day eight years ago? Well, Facebook will tell you! Don’t we all open the app to see who’s birthday is coming next? Not only do apps know more about us, we depend on them for notifications around our social lives as well.

Hence, comes the question, how much is too much? Look out for these symptoms:

  • If you spend more than 5 hours on your mobile phone
  • If you feel dependent on your phone
  • If you panic when you don’t check your phone in a long time
  • If you check your phone first thing in the morning
  • If you check your phone in the middle of the night for updates

If you check all the above points, you need help. Teentalk India Expert Kshitija Sawant lists some tips for you let go of mobile addiction.

  1. Be mindful: Stay focused on your present and be aware of your short-term and long-term goals, even while you’re browsing through memories that are more than a year old.
  2. In order to build healthy and long-lasting relationships, make sure you use your online connections and platforms as a means to plan for some real-world meet up events.
  3. Prioritize and make sure you set aside time for face to face interactions with friends, family or people who matter to you the most.
  4. Allot only specific hours in a week to mobile phone usage.  For example, once a week, make sure to have a ‘no technology day’ or ‘no usage of mobile phone day’. That will give you a lot of free time to pursue other sports or recreational activities which are interactive in nature.
  5. Switch off your mobile phone for specific hours in a week and hand them over to your family members.  Knowing that you’re accountable for your mobile phone usage will help you to stay grounded.

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You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.



The truth about pornography

You might think that pornography is harmless, read on to find out how it affects your perspective towards sex and relationships
Nishtha JunejaTeentalkindia Content Writer

Have you ever wondered why porn is often viewed in secret? Why does every discussion about pornography conveyed in hushed whispers. Let’s try to understand the psychology of porn:

Blue films used as stimulants

Many teenagers discover porn during adolescence. It is exciting and new. Many teens use it as a stimulant to masturbate. This can become addictive. Slowly, teens make excuses to avoid social gatherings or homework to watch porn videos. It starts to take over their lives.

According to Dr Rajan Bhonsle, sexologist, these are the four stages of pornography:

1.Addiction: When a teen is addicted to watching porn videos every day and finds ways to watch porn on a regular basis.

2.Escalation: Over time, addicts require more explicit material to meet their sexual needs.

3.Desensitisation: What was first perceived as gross, shocking and disturbing, in time becomes common and acceptable.

4. Acting out sexually: There is an increasing tendency to act out behaviours viewed in pornography.

However, this can pose a serious concern in the later stages of their lives. There might be a possibility when teens would want to imitate porn stars. Sex in an intimate romantic relationship or marriage is not like a porn movie.

“Research has shown that pornography and its messages are involved in shaping attitudes and encouraging behaviour that can harm individuals and their families. In addition, pornography promotes the allure of adultery, prostitution and unreal expectations that can result in dangerous promiscuous behaviour,” according to Rajan Bhonsle.

Tips on getting rid of the addiction of watching porn videos by Teentalk India Expert Kshitija Sawant:

1.Sex Education is essential. Whenever, you get the opportunity to attend courses, programs or seminars on sex education, please do so as it will give you some realistic, insights on the concept of sex and reproduction.

2. Knowledge is Power: Once you have the required knowledge, you will come to realize that sex is appropriate in what kind of situations and inappropriate in certain other situations. It is not something that is ‘dirty’ but instead something that needs to be accepted as a way of living life.

3. Additional recreation is a must: As a teenager, it is important for you to channelize your energies by taking up a sport or a favourite past time activity like creative writing, dancing, painting to name a few.

4. Everyone time you find yourself feeling the urge to watch porn, relax, take a few deep breaths and meditate. This will help you to calm down and appreciate what nature has to offer you.




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You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.


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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.