When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us.
But I want you to show you where it might do the opposite. Where does technology exploit our minds weaknesses? I learned to think this way when I was a magician. And this is exactly what product designers do to your mind. They play your psychological vulnerabilities consciously and unconsciously against you in the race to grab your attention.
Western Culture is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, source matter what you choose. When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask:.
You open Yelp to find nearby recommendations and see a list of bars. The group turns into a huddle of faces staring down at their phones comparing bars. They scrutinize the photos of each, comparing cocktail drinks.
Is this menu still relevant to the original desire of the group? They miss the pop-up gallery on the other side of the street serving crepes and coffee.
The more choices technology gives us in nearly every domain of our lives information, events, places to go, friends, dating, jobs — the more we assume that our phone is always the most empowering and useful menu to pick from.
By shaping the menus we pick from, technology hijacks the way we perceive our choices and replaces them new ones. Turn yourself into a slot machine.
The average person checks their phone times a day. Why do we do this? Are we making conscious choices? One major reason why is the 1 psychological ingredient in slot machines: You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward a match, a prize!
Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable. Does this effect really work on people? Slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined. But in other cases, slot machines emerge by accident. Source example, there is no malicious corporation behind all of email who consciously chose to make it a slot machine.
It emerged by accident. But now companies like Apple and Google have a responsibility to reduce these effects by converting intermittent variable rewards into less addictive, more predictable ones with better design. The need to belong, to be approved or appreciated by our peers is among the highest human motivations. When I get tagged by my friend Marc aboveI imagine him making a conscious choice to tag me. Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat can Popular Persuasive Essay Editor Websites For Mba how often people get tagged in photos by automatically suggesting all the faces people should tag e.
But through design choices like this, Facebook controls the multiplier for how often millions of people experience their social approval on the line. Everyone innately responds to social approval, but some demographics teenagers are more vulnerable to it than others.
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But as with Social Approval, tech companies now manipulate how often we experience it. Email, texting and messaging apps are social reciprocity factories. But in other cases, companies exploit this vulnerability on purpose. LinkedIn is the most obvious offender. LinkedIn wants as many people creating social obligations for each other as possible, because each time they reciprocate by accepting a connection, responding to a message, or endorsing someone back for a skill they have to come back through linkedin.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn exploits an asymmetry in perception. Imagine millions of people getting interrupted like this throughout their day, running around like chickens with their heads cut off, reciprocating each other — all designed by companies who profit from it.
Imagine if technology companies had a responsibility to minimize social reciprocity. Take an experience that was bounded source finite, and turn it into a bottomless flow that keeps going.
Cornell professor Brian Wansink demonstrated this in his study showing you can trick people into keep eating soup by giving them a bottomless bowl that automatically refills as they eat.
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Tech companies exploit the same principle. News feeds click purposely designed to auto-refill with reasons to keep you scrolling, and purposely eliminate any reason for you to pause, reconsider or leave.
A huge portion of traffic on these websites is driven by autoplaying the next thing. Companies Popular Persuasive Essay Editor Websites For Mba that messages that interrupt people immediately are more persuasive at getting people to respond than messages delivered asynchronously like email or any deferred inbox. In other words, interruption is good for business.
The problem is, while messaging apps maximize interruptions in the name of business, it creates a tragedy of the commons that ruins global attention spans and causes billions of interruptions every day. This is a huge problem we need to fix with shared design standards potentially, as part of Time Well Spent.
For example, in the physical world of grocery stories, the 1 and 2 most popular reasons to visit are pharmacy refills and buying milk. But grocery stores want to maximize how much people buy, so they put the pharmacy and the milk at the back of the store.
In other words, they make the thing customers want milk, pharmacy inseparable from what the business wants. If stores were truly organized to support peoplethey would put the most popular items in the front. Tech companies design their websites the same way. Facebook wants to convert every reason you have for using Facebook, into their reason which is to maximize the time you spend consuming things.
In an ideal world, apps would always give you a direct way to get what you want separately from what they want. Magicians do the same thing. Instead of viewing the world in terms of choice availability of choices, we should view the world in terms of friction required to enact choices. Imagine a world where choices were labeled with how difficult they were to fulfill like coefficients of friction and there was an FDA for Tech that labeled these difficulties and set standards for how easy navigation should be.
Virtually all engagement websites use this trick. Imagine if web browsers and smartphones, the gateways through which people make these choices, were truly watching out for people and helped them learn more here the consequences of clicks based on real data about what it actually costs most people?
In a Time Well Spent internet, choices would be framed in terms of projected cost and benefit, so people were empowered to make informed choices. Are you upset that technology is hijacking your agency?
Imagine whole bookshelves, seminars, workshops and trainings Popular Persuasive Essay Editor Websites For Mba teach aspiring tech entrepreneurs techniques like this. The ultimate freedom is a free mind, and we need technology to be on our team to help us live, feel, think and act freely. We need our smartphones, notifications screens and web browsers to be exoskeletons for our minds and interpersonal relationships that put our values, not our impulses, first. And we should protect it with the same rigor as privacy and other digital rights.
For more information and get involved, check out http: We fall asleep with them. Is it really that big of a problem that people spend so much time staring at their smartphones? They replaced our old menus of choices with new ones. Yet for those who live with them day-to-day, they are invisible.
It always happens this way: We come to expect more from the world, more rapidly. This is the real deal. With its onslaught of never-ending choices, never-ending supply of relationships and obligations, the attention economy bulldozes the natural shape of our physical and psychological limits and turns impulses into bad habits. Millions of years of evolution did a great job Popular Persuasive Essay Editor Websites For Mba us genes to care about how others perceive us.
Apple and Google make the two dominant smartphone platforms. When Organic food became important to you, they responded too. We need to do the same thing with this issue.
Our ability to live the lives we want to here, choose the way we want to choose, and relate to others the way we want to relate to them — through technology. The tips below are meant to:. How do we define it? What does it mean to design for it? To learn more, check out http: Instead I feel constantly lured into distractions.
I get sucked endlessly into email, distracting websites. Towards distraction, and away from empowerment? Stock prices depend on keeping engagement numbers high. Like Yelp reviews, Popular Persuasive Essay Editor Websites For Mba for experiences.
Instead of having the old conversation about self-control and waiting for cultural norms to adapt automatically, direct your friends and family to a new conversation.
Behavioral economists have visit web page that credit cards make us willing to spend more money than cash.
Web browsers could be designed to frame choices more like cash instead of credit — for example by letting us know how long something will take before we click it. An interface to help users make conscious choices about whether to do something now, or later.
Likewise, none of the major Email clients — Gmail, Y! Skip to content Uncategorized 1 Comment.