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The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
“Never get high on your own supply.” Adam Alter starts his book referring to this adage, pointing out that many tech leaders don’t allow smartphones, video games, and social media in their own families. He also shows how “likes” were the first digital drug. Many of us know that we are too tied to our tech, but do we know why? How can we protect ourselves and our families? This insightful book discusses the science behind addiction, and how it applies to smartphones, video games, and social media. He also offers strategies for how to control our usage of them and not let them control us.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction—an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans.
In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today’s products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist.
By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good—to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play—and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children.
If you can’t stop checking, clicking, surfing and liking, put your device down and read Adam Alter’s Irresistible, an important, groundbreaking book about why we’re addicted to technology, how we got here, and what we should do next.”
—Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution and Thrive
“In this smart, sharply-argued book, Adam Alter lays out the evidence for a hidden danger in our lives: behavioral addiction. From tracking social media “likes” to counting our steps, our actions are being guided less by our own volition than by the architecture of the technologies we use. IRRESISTIBLE is a fascinating read that will leave you enlightened — and alarmed.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive