ayjay + addiction   3

Anxiety and surveillance: pillars of the new economy | ROUGH TYPE
Compulsions can be so severe as to be debilitating. But they also, and much more routinely, take milder forms. They alter our thoughts and behavior, sometimes in deep ways, without making us dysfunctional in society. In fact, by tempering our anxiety, they may serve as a kind of therapy that protects our social functionality. Since ours is, as Auden suggested, an age of anxiety, it’s no surprise that it is also an age of compulsion.

The near-universal compulsion of the present day is, as we all know and as behavioral studies prove, the incessant checking of the smartphone. As Begley notes, with a little poetic hyperbole, we all “feel compelled to check our phones before we get out of bed in the morning and constantly throughout the day, because FOMO — the fear of missing out — fills us with so much anxiety that it feels like fire ants swarming every neuron in our brain.” With its perpetually updating, tightly personalized messaging, networking, searching, and shopping apps, the smartphone creates the anxiety that it salves. It’s a machine almost perfectly designed to turn its owner into a compulsive.

Needless to say, a portable, pocket-sized product that spurs and sustains compulsive use can be a very lucrative product for any company able to tap into its hypnotic power. The smartphone is the perfect consumer good for the age of anxiety. It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that, from a commercial standpoint, the smartphone is to compulsion what the cigarette pack was to addiction.
addiction  compulsion  smartphones  surveillance  textpatterns 
january 2017 by ayjay
What Will Break People’s Addictions to Their Phones?
While some blame our collective tech addiction on personal failings, like weak willpower, Harris points a finger at the software itself. That itch to glance at our phone is a natural reaction to apps and websites engineered to get us scrolling as frequently as possible. The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.” “You could say that it’s my responsibility” to exert self-control when it comes to digital usage, he explains, “but that’s not acknowledging that there’s a thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job is to break down whatever responsibility I can maintain.” In short, we’ve lost control of our relationship with technology because technology has become better at controlling us.

Under the auspices of Time Well Spent, Harris is leading a movement to change the fundamentals of software design. He is rallying product designers to adopt a “Hippocratic oath” for software that, he explains, would check the practice of “exposing people’s psychological vulnerabilities” and restore “agency” to users. “There needs to be new ratings, new criteria, new design standards, new certification standards,” he says. “There is a way to design based not on addiction.”
tech  socialmedia  addiction  from instapaper
october 2016 by ayjay
How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming and Social Media Are Changing Our Brains | Second Nature
In Chapter Six, ‘The Story of Alpha’, she describes the brain science of alpha and beta waves as these relate to addiction, learning, creativity, and socialization. She shows how the cycle of arousal and reward commonly applied to addiction relates to the use of all digital media; how the use of i-media deregulates and hijacks alpha wave activity into the narrow domain of the software, and offers seductive and repetitive rewards.  She describes how the gaming industry uses current neurological research deliberately to create addictive game designs. She compares the gains in learning from unstructured, unmediated play to the highly structured learning of games and programmed learning; the games and programmed learning come up short in all contexts not structured to the game or program. She also shows how game makers abuse the emerging neuroscience to market specious claims of improved skills and learning to a gullible and uncritical audience of gamers, parents, and educators.

In short, digital media can undermine reward and social development in other areas such as early and late childhood education, emotional intelligence, and sexuality if it comes to dominate the user’s life.
socialmedia  tech  addiction 
april 2016 by ayjay

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