Discord is a popular app used by gamers for voice, video and text messaging. However, as with video games, some users can become addicted to Discord and use it problematically.
This article explains what makes Discord so addictive, how to recognize if you have a problem and 10 ways to stop spending time on the app.
Why do people spend so much time on Discord?
Millions of people across the world use Discord without any problems but a small percentage of users engage with it in a compulsive and uncontrolled way.
Discord addiction occurs because the app causes the brain to release dopamine – the feel-good neurotransmitter – which results in the individual experiencing pleasure. This reinforces the behavior and makes them want to repeat it.
As well as flooding the brain with dopamine, there are several other reasons why Discord has the potential to be addictive:
- It provides a sense of community and for some people it may be the only place where they feel like they belong.
- For those with low self-esteem, the app can provide attention and validation.
- Users can remain anonymous which gives people the freedom to express themselves, but this can also lead to toxicity and abuse.
- It can be somewhere to escape from reality which is particularly attractive for people suffering from stress, anxiety or depression.
- There is a never-ending supply of entertainment, which can be difficult to resist.
How to know if you are addicted to Discord
If you can’t stop spending time on Discord, you may have Discord addiction. Although, the condition is not officially recognized, here are some common signs that you or a loved one may be affected:
- You devote more time to Discord than anything else in your life.
- You struggle to go for a few hours without using the app.
- You have repeatedly tried to reduce or stop using Discord without success.
- You need to spend more and more time on the app to satisfy your urge.
- You have a Discord server for almost everything that is important to you.
- You spend more time hanging out with people on Discord than you do with friends and family in person.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, irritability, sadness) when you are away from Discord.
- You continue to use the app despite any problems it causes.
- You lie about the amount of time you spend on it
- You are unable to play video games without using Discord.
How to stop spending time on Discord
If Discord is starting to have a negative impact on your life and becoming a dangerous app, here are 10 ways to reduce your reliance on it:
1. Hang out with friends in person
Are the people you chat to on Discord your real friends? Are they positive and supportive or do they make you feel negative and miserable? Rather than using Discord to socialize, hang out with friends in person who make you feel inspired and happy.
If you must stay on Discord, you may consider joining the Game Quitters Discord server to be around more positive like-minded peers.
2. Disable Discord notifications
There are several ways to disable notifications on Discord whether you want to mute alerts from a specific person, single channel, multiple channels, entire server or switch off all notifications from the app.
3. Remove the mobile app
Try removing the Discord mobile app from your smartphone so it is not so instantly available. Restricting your access to the web app or desktop version should help reduce the number of times you reach for it each day.
4. Set a daily limit
Set yourself a daily limit and stop using Discord when you reach that threshold. Reduce the limit by a few minutes each day. Check out our recommended screen time guidelines to decide on a reasonable amount of time to spend on the app and make that your goal.
5. Try a Discord detox
If you have an unhealthy relationship with the app, try a Discord detox for anywhere from 24 hours to a week. During that time, distract yourself with screen-free activities. The goal is not to break up with Discord for good but to use it in a more balanced way. Read our digital detox guide.
6. Delete your Discord account
If you have tried to cut down the amount of time you spend on Discord without success, it may be time to delete your account. This is also recommended for anyone who is struggling with gaming addiction. Follow our step-by-step instructions to delete your Discord account.
7. Recognize your triggers
Identify any triggers that could make you start using Discord again. Then, work out what you will do when faced with your triggers. For example, if you use Discord when you are feeling lonely, look for other ways to socialize face to face.
8. Do other things
Rather than spending hours gaming and chatting on Discord, find alternative ways to fill your time. Here are some ideas for hobbies and activities that will make you feel excited and energized rather than emotionally drained.
9. Confide in someone
If you are worried about the amount of time you are spending on Discord, confide in a trusted friend or family member. They can provide advice and support as you try to cut down or stop using the app.
10. Get specialist support
If you have tried to control your Discord usage without success and it is affecting your day-to-day life and relationships, you may need specialist help. At Game Quitters, we have support, guidance and resources for digital and gaming addiction – see below.
Sometimes, people who are addicted to Discord also suffer from gaming disorder, or using Discord can make problematic gaming worse:
“When I see my friends playing online every time I hop on Discord it makes me want to play games.” – Game Quitters
If you or someone you care about are struggling but don’t know what to do, we can help. Our Respawn program will help you get gaming under control and live a happier and healthier life and our Reclaim program is for families affected by gaming.
To find out how we can help you, get in touch to book your free 30-minute Gameplan call.