I’ve put forward a physiological hypothesis to explain the psychological Opponent Process theory, which I call the Receptor Control Theory. In essence, our pleasure set point or baseline “happiness” is determined by the density and sensitivity of dopamine receptors in the brain (and elsewhere). In this view, obesity and addiction result from a process of “dopamine resistance”, whereby receptor down-regulation impairs satisfaction and drives cravings. Conversely, high receptor density and sensitivity promote satisfaction and dampen cravings.~ Todd Becker from, https://gettingstronger.org/2019/10/retraining-the-limbic-brain-to- overcome-obesity-and-addiction/
Phone use might rise to the level of a literal addiction. Its use can certainly cause dopamine release, which is a strong motivator that plays a role in addiction. I used to think that wasn’t true… That my phone didn’t cause dopamine release… That my phone wasn’t causing manipulation of my motivations… then I tried to put my phone down for an entire day.
And then I set about separating using my phone as a tool—which I can do a lot without it being addictive—from my phone’s use of me as a tool.