We spend more time communicating through our smartphones than we spend talking to our partner. New technology has nestled itself in our pockets, our lives, our habits, our dealings with each other and the rest of the world. This addiction is not just a sign of our own weakness: these products are actually designed to get us hooked.
Adam Alter of NYU Stern School of Business exposes in his book Irresistible (translated by Maven Publishing as Superverslavend) the techniques tech companies use to make their products more and more attractive. But also how we can harness these 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.
The Dutch journalist at NRC Handelsblad Wouter van Noort, whose book on our relationship to technology Is daar iemand? just appeared (in Dutch) that same week, read a personal column about his quest into his obsession with technology – and addiction.
Adam Alter was joined by Jan Willem Huisman, director of gaming company IJsfontein, and by Marleen Stikker, former ”mayor” of De Digitale Stad and founder of the Waag Society, in a discussion moderated by Eva de Valk, who writes for NRC Handelsblad about technology. She lived in and reported on Silicon Valley for two years.