In recent news, gambling addiction experts are starting to voice their concerns surrounding the addictive nature of certain trading apps. One of the main trading apps in recent months to become publicly under fire on Wall Street is Robinhood. Finance and gambling experts are even calling the app indistinguishable from online gambling addiction. What’s exactly causing them to make such claims? Let’s investigate.
Trading Apps & The Risk Of Gambling Addiction
Is it too good to be true?
The temptation of day trading is honestly an understandable one. It promises high income and financial freedom while essentially being your own boss untethered to any particular company. The ultimate dream for many, right? You can trade on your own time and do so regardless of where the market’s at currently. Is it up? Is it down? Or, is it stagnant? It doesn’t matter when you’re striving to make money in the trading app world. While these promises may sound almost too good to be true, they might be because they are.
Statistics show that a whopping 90% of amateur day traders are losing on a consistent basis. However, many of these amateurs will experience beginner’s luck. Then, the amateurs will lose, lose some more, and keep continuing on the downward spiral. As a result, a psychological trap leads to severe negative effects on one’s social life, daily functioning, and finances. Many average investors will strike rich but will end up losing their job, money, and relationships if they allow it to consume their lives. Ultimately, there is a reason that professional stock traders exist. They know the ins and outs and they know how to weigh the risks.
The addictive nature of Trading Apps
The immediacy and frequent engagement are the names of the game when it comes to the Robinhood app. It’s exciting, it’s stimulating, and it’s captivating for its users. Much like a casino or the engagement of any other addicting behavior, it can give you that coveted rush that addicts crave. The reward systems of the brain can cause one to trade compulsively, mindlessly, and dangerously. Some whistleblowers are calling out Robinhood specifically for its ability to induce dopamine rushes.
The Robinhood app starts off by displaying a digital scratch-off lotto ticket. This stub promises anywhere from $2.50 to $200 of stock. To claim the stock, the trader has to scratch it off just as if it were a real physical lottery ticket. Some more features that may be seen as “pleasure center” triggers include green confetti when a transaction is made, constant updates of stock articles, and a captivating interface with emoji notifications. Other Robinhood features include trading that requires only one click, free stocks that mimic lottery tickets, and waitlists that encourage users to tap up to 1,000 times a day. Engaging with these features over time can lead to addiction and even cravings for other addictive activities or substances.
The downward spiral
Robinhood has succeeded in drawing in millions of users only to get them hooked. In fact, Robinhood has been able to seduce over 13 million customers. The app has made trading feel like gaming, which also entices a younger crowd. Financial experts believe this is a tactic to get users hooked on the app. Those who are inexperienced are not informed about the risks involved. The app has even been likened to a fast car devoid of driving instructions. A 20-year old trader even took his own life last summer due to a misunderstanding on the app. If you or a loved one has begun trading and unconsciously allow it to be all-consuming in this way, it’s important to seek professional help.
Additionally, Robinhood promotes risky investments with flashy neons. There’s no minimum deposit in order to start trading. This may be viewed as a way to shift capital gains to the average citizen or retail investors. However, experts believe it’s just a tactic to induce more addictive and compulsive trading. Users can essentially buy or sell whenever they please.
Spreading awareness on the issue
Now that the harmful effects of trading apps are gaining traction and making headlines, gambling addiction continues to be part of the conversation as well. Those who suffer from gambling addiction should seek professional help. So should we simply learn how to use these apps more mindfully or avoid them altogether? Many experts that have been warning the public for years are pointing to the latter.
Blue Sky Counseling Omaha
I, Carly Spring, M.S., LIMHP, LADC, CPC, offer my specialized expertise to assist in the healing process to anyone who may be experiencing and suffering from a vast spectrum of mental health issues. Such mental health issues include behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, addiction issues, and life transitions. I believe strongly in applying a holistic perspective addressing your whole person not just the bits and pieces of you. Contact us with any questions or to discuss gambling addiction services in Omaha today.