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Obsessions, Addictions and Compulsions | Adam Alter on the danger of irresistible technology

2017-08-10 | 🔗

Did you know that the average American checks email within 6 seconds of arriving at work? Or that 75% of adults say they spend the entire day within an arm’s reach of their phones?

Whether we want to admit it or not, the smartphone has become a critical extension of our lives. And it’s easy to understand why. Smartphone technology allows us a number of communication options including voice calls, text messages, video chat and instant messenger. We have immediate access to the information and are constantly connected to the web. And with the advancement of mobile technology, we can do our banking, shop online, check movie times, check our heart rates, edit photos, publish blog posts - anytime, anywhere.

But what is this convenience really costing us?

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, we’re talking with renowned social psychologist, Adam Alter. Adam is an Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of two books: Irresistible, which considers why so many people today are addicted to so many behaviors, from incessant smart phone use and internet use to video game playing and online shopping. And Drunk Tank Pink, which investigates how hidden forces in the world around us shape our thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Adam has also written for the New York Times, New Yorker, Washington Post, Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, Huffington Post, and Popular Science, among other publications. He has shared his ideas on NPR's Fresh Air, at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, and with dozens of companies, including Google, Microsoft, Anheuser Busch, Prudential, and Fidelity, and with several design and ad agencies around the world. His academic research focuses on judgment and decision-making and social psychology, with a particular interest in the sometimes surprising effects of subtle cues in the environment on human cognition and behavior. His research has been published widely in academic journals, and featured in dozens of TV, radio and print outlets around the world.

Adam and Ana delve into the many ways our smartphones have become obsessive addictions. They look at how technology is precluding us from having a balanced life, and the serious implications this has on our social interactions with others and our capacity for compassion, empathy and connection. They discuss the role businesses play in perpetuating addictive behaviors by using strategic tactics when it comes to user experience. And they talk about what it would mean to withdraw and detox from screen experiences so that we can learn how to create a new sense of well-being in our lives.

This episode is all about becoming more aware. Because the more informed we are about the addictive nature of technology and even of business practices that keep us coming back for more, the more able we are to demand more - from ourselves, from others, and from the companies that we support.

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