It’s not you. Phones are designed to be addicting.

Christophe Haubursin talks to Tristan Harris, for a new video series for Vox. Harris is a former Design Ethicist at Google, the two discuss how our phones and apps are designed for the express purpose of being addictive. They also, thankfully, cover some strategies for backing away from your phone:

  • Turn off all non-human notifications.
  • Change your screen to grayscale.
  • Restrict your home screen to everyday tools.

The video overlaps really well with Ezra Klein’s interview with Harris that dropped on The Ezra Klein Show last week. I highly recommend you give it a listen (or read) as well, it’s a great overview on the ethics of technology and social media.

People in tech will say, “You told me, when I asked you what you wanted, that you wanted to go to the gym. That’s what you said. But then I handed you a box of doughnuts and you went for the doughnuts, so that must be what you really wanted.” The Facebook folks, that’s literally what they think. We offer people this other stuff, but then they always go for the outrage, or the autoplaying video, and that must be people’s most true preference.

 

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