What causes dopamine levels to decrease

Health: hype or help: what are the benefits of dopamine fasting?

I don't know of any studies on this, but that would be a conceivable effect. You can observe conditioned behavior in this regard, for example when someone is constantly checking their inbox for messages. This distracts from what is actually important, such as the social environment or "analog" life. If one can free oneself from this impulse, quasi deconditioned, that is certainly a success.

How long should you practice abstinence?

That depends on the context. If you want to concentrate for hours at work and get into the flow of your thoughts, it is of course annoying if a cell phone beeps every few seconds. Personally, that's why I often turn off my news and social media channels. I want to continue to use this media, but not always and everywhere. It is also important to strictly avoid it at bedtime. And that doesn't just have to do with blue lights and melatonin; Due to the constant input, you often just don't notice how tired you are. In this respect, it is better to reserve fixed times of the day for online news and chats. Anyone who has the feeling that they can no longer live without a certain medium should try a longer-term abstinence, as a kind of self-experiment.

On the contrary, could it not happen that one craves even more for the pleasures that have been lacking?

I don't think so, because addiction arises through two mechanisms. If I take a drug, the resulting exhilaration encourages the urge to use the drug again. This is called positive reinforcement. But not only this leads to addiction, but also the urge to end the negative effect of skipping, the so-called craving. The latter subsides over time.

That means that the waiver should already have a certain duration?