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War on technology addiction is one sided!

3-minute quick read. 




When smart-phone was introduced by Apple –it was supposed to be a combination of iPod and phone. Facebook was also introduced to just connect girl-friends, boyfriends and so on. But today technology has engrossed our life. An average user checks his phone almost 90 times a day and spends an average 2 hours on social media.  

We are addicted. Even American psychological association APA – has recognized this as a diagnosable problem. Addiction used to be connected only with booze and smoke. Technology addiction is a deliberate attempt by technology firms. Tech firms are labelled as “Tobacco farmers in T-shirt

This was recognized very early by Tristan Harris – a Google employee. He even made a 141 slide deck titled “A call to minimize distractions and respect users’ attention”. It was viral. Larry Page – influenced and made him a product philosopher to bring his ideas. But Harris couldn’t make any impact! His ideas mean reduced revenue for the firm, frustrated he quit and started non-profit for this cause.  

Tech Giants’ hooking techniques are studied by Adam Alter, a marketing professor at Stern school of business. His background in psychology helped him to go deeper into techniques. He came out with a popular book “Irresistible: rise of addictive technology and business of keeping us hooked” -praised by the likes of Adam Grant.  

Irresistible – probed the science of addiction and outlined various hooks by tech giants. Two of the hooks are intermittent positive reinforcement and drive for social approval. Intermittent positive reinforcement is an unpredictable reward for your action. These two principles are employed in technology addiction by using “like”, “upvote”, and “tagging feature”.  

Tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Google – have monstrous resources behind these addictions, truly making them “Tobacco Farmers”. And this war on “tech drug” is one-sided! 

[This is a review of First chapter of Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism – A lopsided Arms Race.  Watch this place!]

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