We Are Hopelessly Hooked

On technological addiction in our age, the problem of our time. I think we reached peak human in 2015 sometime, from there it was all downhill.

“Of course, posting to Facebook or Instagram also contributes to the global accumulation of FOMO. What Eyal describes, without seeming fully to appreciate it in human terms, is a closed cycle of anxiety creation and alleviation. What are others doing? What do they think of me? What do I think of them? In the last part of his book, Eyal raises ethical considerations and says developers ought to peddle only products that they believe in. But in the main, his book reads like one of those tobacco industry documents about manipulating nicotine levels in cigarettes. Designers can hook users through the application of psychological phenomena such as investment bias—once you’ve put time into personalizing a tool, you’re more likely to use it. But an app, Eyal writes, should ask for investment only after offering rewards, such as tidbits of interesting information. Another tool is rationalization, the feeling that if one is spending a lot of time doing something, it must be valuable.”

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