Device Facts:

  • Why do tech companies and drug dealers both call their customers “users”?

  • Why do the leaders of tech companies not want their kids using devices?

  • Slot machines make more money than baseball, movies and theme parks combined, which is why tech companies use the same techniques on your phone as casinos use in slot machines. What are these techniques? How do I use them and protect myself at the same time?

  • According to a Pew survey, the median American checks their smartphone every 4.3 minutes and nearly 40% of Americans ages 18 to 29 are online almost every waking minute. We are “addicted to distraction.

  • As Jean Twenge has demonstrated in book and essay: since the spread of the smartphone, teens are much less likely to hang out with friends, date or work. Eighth graders who spend 10+ hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to say they are unhappy than those who spend less time. Eighth graders who are heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27%. Teens who spend 3+ hours a day on electronic devices are 35% more likely to have a risk factor for suicide. Girls, especially hard hit, have experienced a 50% rise in depressive symptoms.

  • Be Careful of “hijacking techniques” that lure us in and create “compulsion loops”

  • Snapchat has Snapstreak, which rewards friends who snap each other every single day, thus encouraging addictive behavior

  • News feeds are structured as “bottomless bowls” so that one page view leads down to another and another and so on forever

  • Most social media sites create irregularly timed rewards; you have to check your device compulsively because you never know when a burst of social affirmation from a Facebook like may come