Can Math.SE end up being addictive?

Of course this depends on the single oneself, but the system of reputation and badges seems to be purpose-built to "encourage" the community to grow and to be alive. Until this encouragement doesn't become an addiction, which is not unrealistic.

Until now, other questions have been done on this topic (see here), however the answers are always about the positive aspects of the site, on how it is important to help, and also being helped and learning, and so on. Nothing wrong with this, but if the site is really addicting, as many have clearly declared, shouldn't it change, at least in the methods? Or the end justify the means?

Note that this could be extended to any other stackexchange community, not only Math.

(P.s. Please, if you downvoted, give reasons. It is ridiculous that who disagrees does not provide any contribution other than a thumb down. If you see the tag, it is called "discussion": this question (and the community itself) is based on the principle of dialogue.)

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    $\begingroup$ Somewhat related: Addiction to Math Stack Exchange, Am I the only one getting addicted to this site? How do you manage time doing other things?, Can someone explain the “economics” of StackExchange points? There is also a separate tag gamification on Meta Stack Exchange and you can also read about gamification on Wikipedia. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ Firstly experienced users have a hard time getting it. As anyone above 2000 won't have edits peer reviewed for points, as an example. Downvotes on meta generally mean they disagree with premise of the question. Communities are Q&A sites first an foremost. Discussion is usually only on meta sites. It most definitely is not a proper forum. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ Downvotes on Meta can mean a lot of things. If I had to guess (which is never a good idea), I would guess that these downvotes mean either: they don't think the question is interesting, they think the question has been adequately discussed before, or maybe they think that Math.SE is obviously not addictive. $\endgroup$
    – Sera Gunn
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ Of course not. SE is no worse than other social media, or video games. The fact that they take up most of my time is a feature, not a bug! Otherwise I would have to find something to do, like (ugh) work. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 22, 2019 at 10:10
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    $\begingroup$ see my reason in my answers comments section. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, reason for what? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ downvoting. that's what you asked for the reasoning of. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it is kind of like a drug. When you get more reputation, the green square that appears is an extremely pleasing color, and definitely gives a dopamine release. Also, it seems to be getting harder and harder to get reputation. Maybe that is because I already have 20,000. So, just like a drug, you need to do more to get less return. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 22:45


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