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Technology is Distracting and Addictive. Here’s How to Fix It. (Video)

Our personal technology is becoming more pervasive and persuasive. Critics claim it is addictive, irresistible, and hijacking our brains. Instead of offering another knee-jerk reaction, here’s my take on the peril and promise of persuasive technology.

This is the talk I gave at the 2017 Habit Summit where I discuss and offer solutions for:

  • Stopping unethical design practices.
  • Getting control of tech at work.
  • Dealing with tech distraction throughout the day.

Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.

The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower

The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower

Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Paulette Perhach. Paulette writes about finances, psychology, technology, travel, and better living for the likes of The New York Times, Elle, and Slate.


I learned how to respect authority from my father. At the top of a huge water slide at a theme park, he put me, my siblings and cousins in a huge, round raft, then started to get in himself. “No sir, that’s too many,” said the attendant. My father simply replied, “Hup, too late!” Then jumped in and shoved off. We caught air on the bumps, making the ride much more wild than it would have been, had we followed the rules.

Research Reveals How to Take a Better Break

Research Reveals How to Take a Better Break

Until recently, when I needed a break I’d grab my phone. Whether I was bored, mentally fatigued, or just wanting a pick-me-up, I felt relief checking the news, Facebook, or Instagram.

However, new research suggests there are good ways and not-so-good ways to spend our break time. While some breaks can leave us refreshed and reenergized, others tend to leave us depleted and drained.

Research Reveals How to Take a Better Break Click To Tweet

The Unbelievable Future of Habit-Forming Technology

The Unbelievable Future of Habit-Forming Technology

Nir’s Note: Jane McGonigal is a game designer at The Institute for the Future and bestselling author of Reality is Broken and SuperBetter. She’ll be speaking at the upcoming Habit Summit in April. (You can register here!) In this interview with Max Ogles, McGonigal discusses impact of future technologies on behavior, habits, and the way we design products.

Q: You recently worked on a project designed to visualize the future of technology. The idea was that using some future, not-yet-existent product, nicknamed FeelThat, people could actually share emotions with each other. (Here’s a link to the video.) What was the thinking behind it?

Why Our Tech Obsession Might Be a Work Obsession

Why Our Tech Obsession Might Be a Work Obsession


Nir’s Note: Below is the transcript of an interview I did with David Burkus, an award-winning podcaster and author of Under New Management: The Unexpected Truths about Leading Great Organizations. This interview was part of a Heleo Conversation on the topic of technology obsession, work-life balance, and challenging assumptions in order to change behavior. I hope you enjoy it.

Nir: When companies call me and say, “We want to make our product habit-forming,” about half the time I say, “Sorry, you don’t meet the test. Your product will never become a habit.” There is a list of criteria around what even has potential to become a habit-forming product. That doesn’t mean that they need to go out of business; there’s lot of businesses that are very successful without forming a habit.

Business, Behavior, & the Brain
Hi, I'm Nir. I build, study, and write about products and ideas that move people. More about me here.

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