Texting and Dopamine

Brain Chemistry and the Secret Power of Texting

You know how it goes, you’re out to dinner with family and friends when suddenly you feel that familiar tantalizing vibration in your pocket, signifying you have a message. Your friends’ voices disappear into the background as the back of your brain tries to figure out who the message is from or what it’s about. It’s like an itch that you can’t resist scratching, and that’s what makes mass text messaging and apps that push notifications to the front of your cell perfect emergency alert and preparedness tools.

Almost everybody in the U.S. (92%), own cell phones, and research suggests that recipients receive a message quickest when it is sent directly to their cell phones. It’s really a no-brainer. During the Boston Marathon attacks, the businesses, hospitals and campuses that had SMS messaging built into their emergency preparedness plan were the most successful at keeping their employees feeling and being safe. This continues to be proven again and again, and it may be partly due to brain chemistry.

Turns out, text messaging creates a “dopamine loop” in our brains, which is why we just can’t resist those little bells and vibrations. Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical that motivates us to seek out what we want, and then increases when we receive the instant gratification of the desire. We are just like Pavlov’s dog, salivating over the next message that comes in.

That ding in your purse or pocket that turns out to be FEMA or your local emergency alert system may not be quite as fun as a message from your loved one, but at least your life might be saved! Ask anyone who benefited from the up-to-the-minute updates during Hurricane Matthew or other crisis situations where mass notifications were their primary news source. Regroup understands that one of the most effective ways to alert people is bulk SMS, which is why we offer unlimited bulk texting at a rate of 100,000 messages per minute. Leverage the power of a message, leverage the power of Regroup!

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