When hobbies turn into obsessions

How I turned coloring into a terrible habit

Today, I’m actually staying out of my back yard because I’m having a new small deck and stairs put in, to replace the crumbling, uneven, definitely home-made brick steps. So I’m posting about a different hobby today; one that has gone bad.

Remember when adult coloring books became all the craze? I bought one and found it to be so soothing. My friends soon found out I was into coloring and though, aha, this is a solution to gift-giving! For the next two years I was inundated with coloring books.

Wouldn’t you know it though – any good thing quickly gets turned into an app for your smart phone. And THIS is where I went bad with the hobby. A friend introduced me to the “Happy Color” app. This is not just soothing – it is ADDICTIVE. I have taken it off my phone twice. Sometime in 2019 I put it back on the phone and during the craziness of 2020 I just threw myself into it.

It’s easy to see why I love this so. Mike Brooks Ph.D. in Psychology Today explained that in the past 20 or so years we’ve all been conditioned this way. We associate our smart phones with dopamine hits from social media, connections with friends, new things – emails! texts! All the information in the World via the Internet via our phones!

Although we like to think of ourselves as more evolved than most animals, the truth is that learning processes, such as classical conditioning, can affect our behavior in much the same way as Pavlov’s dogs.

-Mike Brooks, Ph.D.

Not only that – I’m been going extra-heavy on the coloring app because its something to do while I’m listening to podcasts, which is my number one phone use. I can happily while away the time coloring while listening to Wooden Overcoats, Wrong & Wronger, or The MartyrMade Podcast, and so skip doing any useful housework. Yes, I know. I know.

There’s one nice side benefit of this obsessive coloring. I do get some pretty pictures of it. So please enjoy this gallery of just a minute fraction of the (hangs head in shame) 2,474 pictures I’ve colored on this app. There’s everything from reproductions of famous paintings, to mosaics, fashion, animals, and fantasy.

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