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Psychology Social Media Tech

Tech this out

Technology controls us. The companies that make the hardware and software hijack our attention and turn us into distraction-seeking mice. None of this is good for our cognition.

Reward and pleasure are addicting, so much so we get anxious when the pellets stop showing up. That’s when we reach into our pockets and pull out the slot machine disguised as a smartphone for another hit of dopamine.

That Instagram heart, the Twitter retweet, the Facebook like–they are all designed to steal our conscious attention. They say sitting is the new smoking; how about pecking at our smartphones? Walk down a busy street; both walkers and drivers are looking down. Self-driving cars can’t come soon enough!

This continuous partial attention is not only causing cognitive load, but it’s also putting our lives at risk. We’ve become transfixed on creating and consuming bite-sized rewards.

Learn to focus. Learn to be bored. Learn to daydream.


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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

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