What would you do if you could make tech less “addicting”?

In recent news, there has been a discussion started by a group of tech experts from Silicon Valley to curb tech addiction – asking for large tech companies to make their products less addictive. I know that I have seen it in myself (a 28-year-old) and those young AND old become more distracted, or possibly- more involved in the world inside of their devices. I don’t believe that we should put that blame entirely on the companies, we as humans suck at most things, especially taking the blame for our own faults.

I have started reading more material on the subject. My first look into the topic was through a book I bought called “Mind Change- How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Marks On Our Brains” by Susan Greenfield. Long story short- this Susan’s compiled studies about the cognitive and the neurological impacts tech has on our brains at the moment- and to be honest, her outlook on our situation is…. umm, bleak. She might be suggesting that with the way that tech is evolving now- we won’t be able to remember the simplest tasks or want to go outside and socialize anymore. Okay- maybe I should not be that blunt… but most of the studies in this book revolve around memory and distraction and the impact digital social networks have on our well being and the outcome isn’t the most positive… without intervention.

The second and (in my opinion) more enjoyable read that I am still working on is “How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For The Better” by Clive Thompson. Clive, so far is expressing approval of how tech and digital media are helping EXPAND our knowledge and change the way we think. For instance, “Public Thinking” has increased due do awesome sites like Reddit- we become more critical of our own opinions and WHAT we put out there… my closest experience with this is right now… I’ve read and re-read this post MULTIPLE TIMES to post what may make the most sense – but it is YOU, dear Reddit who will help correct me and help me grow and expand on my own small knowledge on this subject.

Where I am at now with this book is how we are becoming a bit too reliant on our devices… we can’t multi-task to save our asses (BOTH books have confirmed that tech is the worst thing for multi-tasking, and I agree… I’m supposed to be writing a report for a Business course right now)

But the main take away from the beginning of these studies- and that what we need to do now is “Reduce the negative side effects… by changing our relationship to the digital environment, both as a society and as individuals”

So, Reddit- how do we do it?
Discuss:

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One thought on “What would you do if you could make tech less “addicting”?

  1. bitfriend2 February 14, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Let’s make this task simpler: how would you make a slot machine as unappealing as possible, since they use the same basic methods to attract attention?

    Firstly, all color must be purged – grey monochrome only. No flashy lights or elements beyond advertising panels, which must all be the same standard dimensions and use the same 128 colors. All buttons must be grey tamper-proof metal, and the main display a 128×96 text-only monochrome LED display module. Payouts must be in coins only, in the event the machine does not have enough US dollar coins to issue a payout it will simply print a paper receipt the customer has to take to a cashier in the central office during business hours (M-Th 10-4) for redemption. There they must also present a valid ID.

    Which is to say the slot machine would be more comparable to a transit ticket machine or a USPS stamp machine, things people explicitly hate using. This would prevent addiction. As applied to the Internet similar things can be done: greyscale all webpages, cap all webpages at a 128×96 resolution, HTML only, and remove the back/forward browser buttons. For as silly as this may seem people already tolerate this in the form of texting and chat programs, however those still manage to be addicting because people are coming for the content their friends make.

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