How can we spend so much of our ever-diminishing sense of available time looking at what people are eating for breakfast? Why do so many people want to know which cake best represents their life? What is it about the internet that gets to us? When you consider that amount of time you lose when you are on the internet, it is not hard to imagine how some people might fall completely for its Pokemon-hunting, stock-trading and hilarious-cat-video charms.
In short, researchers are starting to believe that it’s novelty that keeps us clicking. Scientists believe that humans have an important primitive drive to seek out new things – new foods, new people and new adventures. Our dopamine-fueled reward circuit in our brain affects much of what we do. Primitively, it would drive us to seek out food, bonding, and mates for reproduction. These drives are especially strong in teenagers and young adults. New or novel foods and new possible mates are healthier for our species. The internet provides many more novel experiences than any previous generation of humans have been exposed to in a lifetime and so appeals to out primitive brains very effectively. We just seem driven to keep clicking through all the internet has to offer.