A needful admonition â€śOne reason I think it is particularly important for us to talk about this now is that we may be the last generation that can remember life before,â€ť
It is revealing that many of these younger technologists are weaning themselves off their own products, sending their children to elite Silicon Valley schools where iPhones, iPads and even laptops are banned.
Nir Eyal, 39, the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products,...â€śThe technologies we use have turned into compulsions, if not full-fledged addictions,â€ť Eyal writes. â€śItâ€™s the impulse to check a message notification. Itâ€™s the pull to visit YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for just a few minutes, only to find yourself still tapping and scrolling an hour later.â€ť None of this is an accident, he writes. It is all â€śjust as their designers intendedâ€ť.
If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves â€“ faculties that are essential to self-governance â€“ what hope is there for democracy itself?
â€śThe dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will,â€ť he says. â€śIf politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on.