By Jonathan Takiff
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Research suggests that maintaining a “sustained focus” becomes harder for excessive smartphone users. Also, that the mere presence of a cellphone sitting on the table while a person is being interviewed can impact cognitive performance.
Might as well face it, we’re addicted to more than love, intoxicants, and gambling.
Far more prevalent and pervasive may be our addiction to smartphones.
A new study by IAB Global Research found that nearly two-thirds, or 63 percent, of smartphone users worldwide look at their devices every 30 minutes or more. More than a fifth, 22 percent, tap into their phones every five minutes. Assuming 10 hours off for sleep, that’s still 168 times a day.
And not by accident. Silicon Valley programmers tweak phones and apps to make you check them often. So argues Tristan Harris, a computer wiz and scene insider who sold his business to Google, then tried to do right as the company’s designated Design Ethicist.
Now running the nonprofit Time Well Spent, Harris says smartphone technology is stoked with incremental rewards akin to the enticing payoffs of a slot machine: Ploys to keep you hanging around.
For example, sit through one Netflix episode or YouTube video and you’re rewarded with the next one starting automatically in a few seconds. Binge all night! It’s a bottomless pit.
Whenever a LinkedIn pal rates you worthy at, say, “communications,” you’re auto-nudged to return the compliment.
And connect with his friends.
All that internet “love” you’ve been feeling is a devil in disguise. It’s easy to be swept up in the acceptance and joy (from the dopamine kicking in), after a torrent of Facebook “likes” come in for your cute cat candid. So then, craving more, you post even stupider pet tricks.