is it time well spent?

When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want you to show you where it might do the opposite.

Where does technology exploit our minds’ weaknesses?

I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano. (source)

I found the above article to be an interesting read, considering how I grew up surrounded by all sorts of technological gadgets and have probably been made to drink the kool-aid when it comes to responding towards every tiny vibration or flicker of light on my devices.

While I attend to my devices whenever I receive any notification, my main reason for doing so isn’t because of some fear of missing out or the need to reciprocate socially, though it’s probably part of the reason subconsciously. It’s just my OCD side who hates seeing the green light flashing on my phone, I don’t really care about why it’s flashing, but I just need to make it stop flashing. Of course, the logical course of action is to turn off the light notification, but then since my phone is permanently on silent, I probably would miss every notification without the flickering lights.

Is there a fear of missing something important? If I don’t check my email, would I not see the amazing sales going on at this place, or a great deal over at some other place? True, that happens, but I’m generally okay with missing these things because they usually occur frequently, or a couple of times a year. I have no fear of missing out on these sort of things.

I’m also perfectly fine with people knowing that I’ve read their messages and not responded to them, hence I have never bothered turning off read receipts, because if there is something I needed to add to the conversation, then I would have replied when I’ve read said conversation thread. I’m too old to be one of those people who play the ‘oh no, I can’t reply within the next 5 minutes or they’d think I have no life/look too eager to talk to them’.

But the main take away point that I get from the article is that: interruptions are good for businesses.

Yup, interruptions as in the way the app is designed to interrupt you at certain times of the day so that you pay attention to it instead of going on with your life without opening the app. You get a tiny notification telling you, hey, look at this cool thing, and next thing you know, there goes an hour of scrolling and clicking and social media-ing.

And the most ironic thing on the site? When you’re done with this article, they have a little pop-up at the corner of your browser asking you to click through to the writer’s next article.

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