Dopamine Nation & Thinking Straight

I hopped on to the digital minimalism wagon once again. This time I am finding myself a little bit more serious at it than the previous attempts. I’m seriously considering switching to a feature phone but WhatsApp is the last cord. I cannot quite get rid of it just yet due to various reasons. (Excuses, ahem!) I am not finding a decent feature phone in India where WhatsApp works. For now, I have turned my smartphone into a dumb-phone by removing all apps that were not necessary.

I uninstalled the apps from my phone that I could access from my laptop. The phone comes with a truck load of apps that I can’t uninstall. I disabled them. There is also another level of core apps that the phone manufacturer thought I should absolutely use. It won’t let me uninstall or disable them. So, I hid those apps from the UI.

I also started going to office at least once a week with 1 hour commute each side. With no entertainment app on my mobile, I tried looking out and observe people. Everyone is mostly heads down (literally) on their mobile. I even saw an auto-rickshaw driver watching YouTube while driving. I started judging people placing myself on a high pedestal. Few who were not having mobile in their hands were either driving two-wheelers or were old or were staring back at me like I’m some creep.  I resorted to reading books. I read two interesting books last week.

Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Dr. Anna Lembke

To be honest, I picked this book up as the title had dopamine and I thought this was one of those dopamine detox books that would suggest you to switch of the mobile phone and be off the grid for the weekend to reclaim your mental space. This book turned out to me much more than that. Dr. Anna talks about addiction in general from multiple angles. The author not just talks about different drivers for addiction and ways to tackle those by giving real life examples from her patients. There is also a commentary on dopamine surge through medicines as well.  The author stresses finally how honesty is an essential component that helps in dopamine recovery. It was a very good read and some of the stats were mind-blowing. It hits you on the face.

Nera Yosi by Sudhakar Kasturi

Sudhakar Kasturi is a relative from my wife’s side. I came to know about him through the WhatsApp group in which we were added involuntarily to bring the family branches and roots together. I exited the group voluntarily. He has written about 6 or 7 books in Tamil and runs a blog in Tamil as well. Last year I read one of his books – 7.83 hertz. It was a science fiction about PsyOps and was an interesting read. He had recently promoted Nera Yosi in the family group which I came to know through my wife. I checked it out and picked it up as it seemed like an easy read.

The book was indeed an easy read. Nera Yosi (Think Straight – not to get confused with the one by Darius Foroux) discusses about 25 of the cognitive biases like confirmation bias, halo effect etc. that generally shapes up how we think and suggests how to be conscious of those and possibly overcome these biases. The author does not promise a way out of these biases however merely discusses the biases and leaves it there for the readers to ponder. It was a good, light read but very informational.  

Shameless Plug: You can follow my 2022 reading challenge here in this link. Eventually I will get rid of GoodReads and LinkedIn as well. WhatsApp – that I am not so sure.

4 thoughts on “Dopamine Nation & Thinking Straight

  1. I have never used what’s app. Seeing your attachment to it gives me FOMO but maybe all I am missing out on is one more app to either hook me or aggravate me😉
    Hope you and your family are well,Sada. Take care💜

  2. Whatsapp is just a messenger that’s very prevalent in this side of the world. Vehicle for fake forwards these days.

    We are all doing well. Thanks. hope you are well too. Take care.

  3. Very heroic 😀
    The books sound interesting, and are a good way to stay off your mobile. Does Kindle count as a book or a gadget?
    Yes, WhatsApp is hardest to cut out. I like the feeling of connectedness to family and friends.

  4. Haha.. Kindle is definitely useful. I use the wifi version with browser turned off in the setting. So it is not disctracting. And i strongly believe Kindle is an investment.

    WhatsApp is definitely useful. Great way to share and carry documents. At the same time, privacy is a little concerning and apartment groups are atrocious

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