App Use Diary
The interactivity and stimulation of Apps (particularly sex Apps) can stimulate the ’Reward centre’ of our brains, where dopamine is released. A bit like gambling, like sugary/fatty foods, and like drugs and alcohol.
And we can begin to use them compulsively.
We can begin to spend more time on them, excited by the arousal they provide, the notifications & messages we get, teased by the possibility of something exciting happening. It stimulates our dopamine, our ‘Reward centres’, and we can keep chasing that excitement, despite the consequences.
The consequences might be spending more time on the Apps than we’d like; we might find ourselves late to leave the house, or choosing Apps over seeing friends. Sometimes a feeling of anxiety can be associated with our use of Apps (though we don’t always recognise it as anxiety; sometimes it feels like excitement or risk or adrenaline.
That’s when our App use might begin to interfere with our lives, and a kind of compulsive use takes over.
This document is an App Use diary; it can help to
- become more conscious of the actual time we spend on Apps
- plan and gently reduce the amount of time we spend on Apps, by use of this diary.
For the first 2 days, don’t change anything about your App use; just use it as you usually would, but keep a record of the time you spend using the Apps.
Then on day 3 and 4 (etc) do the same, but reduce the amount of time -to (perhaps) 30 mins or an hour.
When you are feeling brave and accomplished, go even further; have an entire afternoon or day without the Apps.
Use the diary pages below.
It can be helpful too, to record the mood that is associated with your App use time. To become more conscious of what you are feeling during those using times.
It helps to keep busy and distracted. Being engaged with kind familiar people is best. But even if you are on your own, it’s best to stay busy and distracted; perhaps with a box-set or cooking or another hobby. Keep the device out of hands reach, and invest in the activity you are doing.
Good luck! We look forward to supporting you when you bring this diary back in to clinic to discuss it.