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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Nir’s Note: Gad Saad is a professor of marketing at Concordia University and the author of The Consuming Instinct. He’ll be speaking at the upcoming Habit Summit in April. (You can register here!) In this interview with Max Ogles, Saad discusses the role of evolutionary psychology in modern marketing.
Q: Let’s start with a simple question: What is evolutionary psychology?