Headline October 11, 2019/ '' 'CELLPHONE !STUDENTS-BLAMING! CELLULOID' ''



''WHO SAYS GETTING HOOKED TO social media is a bad thing?'' Nir Eyal goes into a rather,  weather defensive mode.

''For many students, social media is a very good thing and gaming is a very good thing. It's how you use it.''

Nir Eyal is the author of a guide to tech engagement says obsession' is the user's fault.

Nir Eyal does not for a second regret writing Silicon Valley's engagement how-to, ''Hooked : How to Build Habit-Forming Products,'' even as he now has a new book out on how to free ourselves of that same addiction

Mr. Harris, the former Google ethicist has become Mr. Eyal's foil. In 2018, Mr. Harris popularized the idea that technology was uniquely addictive and ''hijacking'' brains.

His catchphrases, like ''Time Well Spent'', have become industry mantras.

Given that tech itself is addictive, Mr. Harris argued, the onus for fixing this is not  on the individual,

''Books advocating for better self-control distract the public from the truly alarming issues created by technology at a time when we need urgent change,'' he said.

''Millions of kids / students have been downgraded by tech platforms. Misinformation on the climate crisis runs rampant, destroying truth and stalling action. Our democratic processes are suffering.

From a distance, Mr. Eyal watched the tech backlash unfold. He became annoyed. And he didn't quite buy Mr. Harris's argument. If screens were so bad, Mr. Eyal wondered, why weren't people addicted to Linkedin?

Why did so many apps not take off?

There was a problem, yes, but the thinking was all wrong, he decided. Using the language of addiction gave tech users a pass. It was too easy. The issue was not screens but people's own minds, and to solve the problem they had to look within.

''If I call technology something that people get addicted to, there needs to be a pusher, a dealer doing it to you,'' Mr. Eyal said. ''But if I say technology is something that people overuse, then it's, 'Oh, crap, now I need to do something about it myself.

And the solutions were useless, he said.

''I got myself a feature phone that had no apps. I got an eBay a word processor, and all it does is let you type. I made my phone grayscale, which only ruined my pictures,'' he said.

And he was still distracted. He would tidy. He would do laundry. He would read random books. ''Technology was not the problem, or at least not the root cause,'' Mr. Eyal said. ''I had not dealt with why I was delaying.''

In 2015, he was on the phone while his young daughter was trying to talk to him, without success. That prompted him to start writing ''Indistractable''.

Thinking through the solutions brought back to another time in his life. Mr. Eyal used to be obese, and he kept returning to how he got himself in shape. The proliferation of crash-course digital detoxes reminded him of the 30th day fad diets he used to try.

He lost weight only when he thought about why he was eating, he said.

That's why the solution he proposes in ''Indistractable'' is slow. It involves self-reflection. He argues that many times we look at phones because we are anxious and bad at being alone - and that's not the phone's fault.

The phone-hooked need to figure out why they are so uncomfortable waiting in line without their screen and what they fear around them, he wrote.

It is hard and sort of annoying advice. ''If you hold your breath waiting for companies to make their products less engaging, you're going to suffocate,'' he wrote.

''Indistractable'' is now selling well, but one thing is different. After ''Hooked,'' Mr. Eyal was feted in the tech world. This time, he is finding a quieter public reception in Silicon Valley.

''I'm not getting much of an audience out there,'' Mr. Eyal said, citing the dominance of the addiction narrative. ''This the latest boggeyman, and people love it.''

Phone addiction, then? Well, you have only yourself to blame .

With respectful dedication to  Inventors, Scientists, Students, , Professors.and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The world Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Alone-Alive '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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