It’s fine-tuned to be as engaging as possible, so that you don’t want to put it down once you pick it up. It lacks real substance and is engineered to be desirable. With their sufficiently random rewards systems giving you unpredictable dopamine hits, they’re designed to be addictive. You don’t need it, but you want it, and companies spend billions of dollars each year to convince you to consume it.
Once you tap, you can’t stop.
Our addiction to smartphones has taken on many of the hallmarks of the junk food that has become ubiquitous in our culture.
Adults have enough problems with this kind of self control in the face of advertising. For kids, it’s an entirely unreasonable ask and a growing body of research speaks to the profound negative effects smartphones are having on them. Excessive smartphone use is correlated with depression and other negative mental health outcomes. Read more…
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