Podcast #420: What Makes Your Phone So Addictive & How to Take Back Your Life

If you’re like most people, you’ve got a powerful computer in your back pocket that allows you to listen to this podcast, check the score of your favorite team, and learn the population of Mickey Mantle’s hometown of Commerce, OK (answer: 2,473). Our smartphones are a blessing, but for many people they can also feel like a curse. You feel compelled to check your device all the time, leaving you feeling disengaged from life. 

What is it about modern technology that makes it feel so addictive? My guest today explores that topic in his book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. His name is Adam Alter and today on the show, we discuss what makes today‘s technology more compelling than the televisions and super Nintendos of old, whether our itch to check our phones can really be classified as an addiction, what soldiers’ use of heroin during the Vietnam War can tell us about why our attachment to our phones is hard to shake, and how the reward we’re looking for on social media isn’t actually the “likes” themselves. Adam then shares what he thinks is the most effective tactic for taking back control of our tech, and how consumers may be able to influence the direction of its future. 

Show Highlights

  • Why do tech companies design their devices/apps to be addictive?
  • Why Steve Jobs never let his own kids use an iPad 
  • Is it possible to truly be addicted to our tech? 
  • How much time are most people really spending on their phones? (It’s an astounding number.)
  • The deleterious effects of technology on social skills
  • What makes today’s tech so different from the tech of a couple decades ago?
  • What heroine use in the Vietnam War can tell us about the effects of our environment/context on our behaviors 
  • Tactics that companies use to get our attention, including hijacking our goals 
  • How casinos have influenced the way tech companies design their products 
  • How video game companies “on-ramp” players to get them hooked, and how other tech companies have used that template 
  • The ways social media amplifies these addictive components 
  • How do you get a hold of a behavior you can’t seem to shake? 
  • Will recent bad press actually force companies like Facebook to make any changes?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

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Recorded with ClearCast.io.

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Coming soon!

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