Book Review: Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

“We limit how much technology our kids use in the home” ~Steve Jobs, founder of Apple

by Catherine Austin Fitts

Adam Alter is an associate professor at New York University. His new book Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked  is a light review of what Alter calls “behavioral addiction.” He describes as follows:

“People have been addicted to substances for thousands of years, but for the past two decades, we’ve also been hooked on technologies, like Instagram, Netflix, Facebook, Fitbit, Twitter, and email—platforms we’ve adopted because we assume they’ll make our lives better. These inventions have profound upsides, but their appeal isn’t an accident. Technology companies and marketers have teams of engineers and researchers devoted to keeping us engaged. They know how to push our buttons, and how to coax us into using their products for hours, days, and weeks on end.”

The book includes a rich inventory of examples – particularly in the gaming area.  If you want a book to help you understand some of the reasons why you want to put yourself and your family on a device diet, here it is.  Alter does not lead you through some of the darker and more dangerous aspects – but what he describes will be sufficient to persuade you of the importance of understanding the pros and cons of the technology you use.

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