In an age where instant gratification is just a click away, the pursuit of ‘cheap dopamine’ has become increasingly common. But what is cheap dopamine, and why should we be concerned about it?
Dopamine, often referred to as the ‘feel-good hormone,’ plays a critical role in our brain’s reward system. It ensured our survival by motivating us to perform essential tasks like eating and procreating. However, the modern world has engineered ways to trigger these dopamine releases artificially and excessively – through things like scrolling mindlessly through social media feeds, binge watching shows, consuming pornography, eating highly processed junk foods loaded with sugar, online shopping just for the thrill of it. These things lure us in by hijacking the brain’s reward system, making us feel good without having to work for it.