First written & published in collaboration with Michael Tollman in the Farnam Street Learning Community. Image via The Zero Theorem.
Your phone is addictive. That’s really no joke!
Ask any person who gambles or smokes:
You think you can stop anytime you decide,
& that’s why you probably haven’t yet tried.
Free markets run on supply and demand,
so CEOs want that phone stuck to your hand.
Expert psychologists help them design
chimes, bells & whistles that mold to your mind:
Look at that bubble, shiny, bright red,
urging you not to leave that thing unread.
See how your apps feel so pleasing & clear?
That’s not by accident! That’s engineered
to make things so easy you don’t have to think—
calming, habitual, just like a drink.
Try these experiments: When your phone chimes,
notice how part of you practically pines
for relief. Also, toggle ‘grayscale’ on your screen,
leaving those bright, juicy colors unseen—
just like a morning without your caffeine!