« Not cold turkey: Brian Kateman on meat “reducetarianism” | Main | Taking the challenge: Michael Grothaus on his smartphone-free week »

08/24/2016

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jack A

I think we need phones for safety and communication. That being said we don't need them to run our lives. Phones connect us but also disconnect us from reality. I love Instagram and snapchat but I don't feel like I am doing anything when I use it.

LeighAnne H.

I think we all need to take breaks from our phones. We all use our phones, but we need to be careful how we use them. If we release information about ourselves constantly, then we will be pulled in more and more, because of the ay the internet takes our information and uses it. We need to moderate the time spent on our phones to prevent becoming more and more addicted.

Basil Beauvais

The general argument made by Harris in his work, "Smartphone Addiction: The Slot Machine in your Pocket", is that "we should put our minds not our impulses first." He writes "We check our phones 150 times a day". Harris is obviously trying to point out that we get instant rewards every time we check our phone. In conclusion, Harris believes we check our phone and get distracted to easily.
In my view Harris is right because we do spend an awful amount of time on our phones. Checking a phone 150 times a day is outrageous. I also agree with Harris because distracted driving is growing exponentially as well. There were 424,000 deaths from distracted driving in 2014 which is an 18% increase according to www.cdc.gov. Therefore I conclude that we are spending too much time on our phones and not enough on our lives.

Ffyon. H

Overall Harris is saying that technology has become a constant demand for our attention. It forces us to look away from something that has meaning to look at a screen that you can interact with, which is why technology puts impulses before our mind. By being a magician, Harris is establishing that he is a professional manipulator of our attention. He knows how to control our brain and tell us where and when to focus on a specific thing. It is his way of establishing his knowledge on technology. Technology is similar in that it does distracts our mind and controls all of our focus. But are we truly addicted? While technology can seem very addicting, people are not dependent on it internally. What I mean by that is, people need technology to maintain a social status. In todays society it is expected for you to have access to the internet, have a smartphone, communicate via technology. Due to the social expectations around society it appears to be addicting because we need them throughout the whole day. But if we stepped back and really thought about technology, its more of a compulsion, we want to see what is going to happen next. Which relates to a magic show. We are intrigued by the different things that are happening that they end up consuming our attention. If our society didn't rely solely on technology we wouldn't have any reason to check our phones constantly, and therefore we wouldn't be consumed by technology. In conclusion, I do agree that we are border line addicted to our technology but the only solution to stop our "addiction" is to cut technological needs from our society.

Rayne Peacock

The general argument made by Tristan Harris in his, are we addicted to our phones? More specifically Tristan Harris argues that we are addicted to our phones. He writes "We check our phones 150 times a day, on average." In this passage Tristan Harris is suggesting we cannot stay off our phones and concluding that we do have an addiction.
In my belief, Tristan Harris is right because most people are addicted to their cellular device and technology. For example I see many people walking around everyday with their phone in their hands and not paying attention to the world around them. In my eyes, I would say we are addicted to our phones.

Jordan Ramos

Harris mentioning that he is a magician does enhance his authority. This enhances his authority because he states in his article that, magicians start by looking for blind spots, vulnerabilities and biases of people's minds, 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. And this is exactly what technology does to your mind (Harris 2016). Harris has the authority to find those blind spots unlike other people that are not even aware that those blind spots are available. With him being able to find those blind spots he knows what to look for and he clearly see that is what smartphone apps are doing to people, grabbing their attention. Many people fail to realize how much a smartphone takes time away, it is almost like a distraction. People are constantly picking up their phones to see what is going on, or what so and so posted, blinding them from what is really going on in reality.
Throughout the article, Harris should have said a little more about the connection between smartphones and magic because, he realized that they do have a real connection. He only mentioned that smartphone apps play your psychological vulnerabilities. With the smartphone apps playing with our psychological vulnerabilities, it seems like it is playing with more than that. The apps are specially designed to keep us busy and to have us to want to always go back to it. Whether it is a social media app or just a simple game. It is almost like it becomes an addiction to check our phones and to check what is going on in social media. People do it all the time, every day. Magic has a lot to do with the mind. A magician will do a magic trick and in a way it seems like it is magic is because we become distracted by one thing making us blind to see what is happening somewhere else. Just like a smartphone would do, a smartphone is keeping us distracted, making us blind to everything else that is happening.
Smartphones are purposefully designed to be that way. Apps are purposefully designed to be that way. Our smartphone seem like they could be a magic trick with the way that they distract our minds. It just seems like things are getting worse, they are constantly coming out with something new, something better, and something that everyone has to have. It is almost like magic because you spend all this money on your smartphones just for them to break and then you have to go out and buy a new one. But with all seriousness, our phones do a lot to our minds and people do not even notice it because they are so blinded by these smartphones. Sometimes you have to just sit back and watch and realize what is doing to everyone else before you can realize what it is doing to you.

Dan

I think that it is important to not become addicted to our phones. While it is important that they do provide some measure of safety they also carry many risks.

Darian Owens

Tristian authority does enhance in the topic of smartphones and magic, him mentioning being a for magician gives us paradox in the article and something he can compare and contrast throughout. Tristian giving his views from being a magician and how they are similar in their abilities of taking advantage of peoples vulnerabilities as he spoke how a magician looks for weak spot in a person which he draws a comparison to smartphones and how a phone application does pretty much the same thing as a notification can take advantage of your vulnerabilities, just by seeing you have been tagged in a picture can distract you from anything and as Tristian brought up in his video that a study it takes 23 minutes for a typical person to get back to what they were initially doing. Tristian didn't have to make more of a connection with magic and smartphones when there was more to elaborate more on with the phones, his viewpoint from being a magician was good and he mention a couple times more how magic ties in however, magic doesn't cause as much attention as a smartphone would and its something we use or see everyday opposed to phones that cause a risk of peoples lives or said by Tristian "time well spent".

Nickolas Petrucci

In Harris's essay, He states, "“our minds, not our impulses, first.” What he means by that in the essay, he saids, "The average person checks their phone 150 times a day." What he means is that pepole are very addicted to their cellphone. Secondly, Harris saids, "When we pull our phone out of our pocket, we're playing a slot machine to see what notifications we have received. When we swipe down our finger to scroll the Instagram feed, we're playing a slot machine to see what photo comes next." Also another reason why people are addicted to their cellphones. I believe that he is correct in that statement, because in my stand point, I'm personally always attached to my phone. Everywhere I go, I see people on their phones.

Ryann Amey

Harris states in the article that, "App designers play with your psychological vulnerabilities in the race to grab your attention" (Harris). Explaining that app designers hook you with click bait items or suggestions to keep you on the app or returning many times a day. I believe that the app designers have the solution to this problem that we become numb to. They designed to be so addictive they know the solution to cure the addiction we have. A fix could be held with the designers as they would add a prompt to suggestions and news rather than forcing the viewer to see it right away. That way the viewer has to make a choice if they want to see it or not and isn't given to them right away. Some believe that we are at fault and should become disconnected from our phones and just use the "Say no" method. As that may work, we are already addicted, just like any addiction in the world, it is very tough to say no and just turn off the phone.

Richard Williams

In Harris's essay, he stats that we are addicted to our cell phones, which is true. " Checking our phones over 150 times a day." That's amazing, I agree with what he is saying. It would be nice to have a day of forget your cell phone at home, andwatch people go through withdraws.

Ahm

in this article, Harris argue that our phones are slot machine because of the fact that it does the same job a slot machine do. we check our phone a lot even if we don't get no message, according to harris the average person check their phone 150 times a day. According to harris slot machine make more money than game park, movies, and baseball combine. Our phones are slot machine. Every time we check our phones, email, or feed news, we are playing the slot machine to see what am I gonna get. our phone train us to interrupt ourselves, every time we get interrupted to check our phone, we train ourselves to self-interrupt, according to harris it takes 23min to refocus after interruption.

John K

In his article, Harris presents the case for companies that structure their applications to buy the attention of us, the user. A large part of his argument is that he calls for more personal choice on the end of the user, or consumer, of an application so that we can gain a sense of control in our business on our phones.

A choice has both an earned component, our selection, but also a loss, or a foregoing of the opposite choice. I like to think about these choices both as money, as in our choice gain what we want from what we are able to purchase; congruently, time works in this same manner, that we can choose what we want to gain based on our time we allot to our activities.

The author mentions that by downloading and utilizing apps, we are given a menu, and we are blindly led into a recurrent trap and sapping of our time (by the doing of the time-vampiric "empire" of app-companies) and we, as users, deserve better. On a step removed from this visual, we have to realize that we are the ones who pick up our menu. It is a reality for many smartphone users that we can use our devices to waste our time. It should be understood by users that by entering into a market of our attention, and our entertainment, we are actively allot our time ($) to these traps and slotting machines, and we are still in control of our attention.

There is, however, value in his bold charge to restore freedom to the consumer: we do need more sensible time for our devices. We do need a middle ground between cutting ourselves from that apps that we can spend our whole lives on, or completely blocking our social channels to face to face interaction. The problem I find with this is Harris directs his call to change directly at the developers and architects of these apps; of course, we say, it's their own doing! However, that is how these developers make their living. It is through very competitive business that applications can win over our time. By calling for these developers to design their products so we use them less, so we spend less of our time ($) providing our data through their interfaces, we are calling for developers to make their applications less competitive. We are, in essence, challenging these creators to make less profitable products, and we call for a framework of compliance that would only be a financial detriment to those making a living.

If we want to end our cycle of care-free and unproductive entertainment, rather than keeping the burden of change on firms who are destined to secure our time, we must keep our time in our own hands, our money in our own wallets, and make the simple choice to just put down the damn phone.

John K

In his article, Harris presents the case for companies that structure their applications to buy the attention of us, the user. A large part of his argument is that he calls for more personal choice on the end of the user, or consumer, of an application so that we can gain a sense of control in our business on our phones.

A choice has both an earned component, our selection, but also a loss, or a foregoing of the opposite choice. I like to think about these choices both as money, as in our choice gain what we want from what we are able to purchase; congruently, time works in this same manner, that we can choose what we want to gain based on our time we allot to our activities.

The author mentions that by downloading and utilizing apps, we are given a menu, and we are blindly led into a recurrent trap and sapping of our time (by the doing of the time-vampiric "empire" of app-companies) and we, as users, deserve better. On a step removed from this visual, we have to realize that we are the ones who pick up our menu. It is a reality for many smartphone users that we can use our devices to waste our time. It should be understood by users that by entering into a market of our attention, and our entertainment, we are actively allot our time ($) to these traps and slotting machines, and we are still in control of our attention.

There is, however, value in his bold charge to restore freedom to the consumer: we do need more sensible time for our devices. We do need a middle ground between cutting ourselves from that apps that we can spend our whole lives on, or completely blocking our social channels to face to face interaction. The problem I find with this is Harris directs his call to change directly at the developers and architects of these apps; of course, we say, it's their own doing! However, that is how these developers make their living. It is through very competitive business that applications can win over our time. By calling for these developers to design their products so we use them less, so we spend less of our time ($) providing our data through their interfaces, we are calling for developers to make their applications less competitive. We are, in essence, challenging these creators to make less profitable products, and we call for a framework of compliance that would only be a financial detriment to those making a living.

If we want to end our cycle of care-free and unproductive entertainment, rather than keeping the burden of change on firms who are destined to secure our time, we must keep our time in our own hands, our money in our own wallets, and make the simple choice to just put down the damn phone.

Emma H

After reading Tristan Harris’s article, I can also agree with Ryann Amey’s response that humans are very much addicted to smartphones in this day and age. I concur with Ryann’s statement that app designers are largely at fault for this worldwide addiction. I feel as though marketing designers and tech companies must benefit themselves by using specific strategies to hook customers into their products, applications, websites, and more. If the tech industry refrained from using these strategies to promote their products, they would ultimately fail and have no success gaining users or keeping people interested in their services. However, I disagree that app designers should stop enticing users as Ryann has suggested in his response. I strongly feel as though people have the capability of avoiding addiction to social media and all of the other websites and smartphone applications that have become so popular. If someone truly values face-to-face communication and real world experiences, he or she will find the means to avoid constant cell phone use. I, myself, designate certain times of the day for viewing social media and applications on my phone. I believe that willpower is the most effective and impactful way for people to combat the smartphone “addiction” today.

Eliza W.

Throughout these posts, the same idea is being presented: we are addicted to our phones and this is a problem. The only problem is that no one seems to have a solution to this addiction. Instead, we just hope we have the self-discipline to say enough is enough and turn off the device. The app companies are wanting us to become addicted because that means that we spend more time on their app. But what if the tables could be turned, and apps could be used to prevent being brainwashed into an app? Harris states that one way we could deal with addiction to apps and phones is if “they could empower people to set predictable times during the day or week for when they want to check "slot machine" apps, and correspondingly adjust when new messages are delivered.” This is just one way that we could reduce the addiction we have towards our phones. I do not think that this will completely solve our addiction problem, but I think it is a great start instead of trying to rely on self-discipline.

Clay Sellers

While I agree with John K’s point to an extent, I cannot fully agree to his conclusion that we need to “make the simple choice to just put down the damn phone”. While John makes valid points in his summary, I cannot accept his final conclusion that our phone usage should be cut down to a minimum and should no longer be used for our entertainment. While Harris argues that “several billion people have a slot machine in their pocket”, Harris overlooks what I consider a fairly important point that consumers do not just check their phones for social media usage. While I concede that certainly a good percentage of my time goes to social media on my phone, making the conscious decision to avoid checking my phone would result in ignoring multiple phone calls from family, email communications from work and from school, and even the development of plans from friends who do not live within shouting distance of myself. Harris underestimates and devalues what is important in society, sarcastically arguing that there is a “one percent chance we could be missing something important.” While Harris makes valid points about smartphone usage in today’s society, his argument fails to acknowledge the counter argument enough to gain credibility and the full support of his audience.

Thomas B

While I do agree with Harris that many of us are addicted to our phones, I do not agree that it is hard to quit. If you are actually majorly concerned with your phone addiction, or your loved ones express that concern, you can easily downgrade your phone to a model that provides less distractions. I don’t think the problem is that people can’t quit, I think the problem is that people don’t want to quit. However, I am concerned with our societies phone addiction. The stat Spiegel gives about checking our phones “150 times a day on average” is terrifying to me. I am not sure if the stat includes looking at the time as “checking your phone”, but if it doesn’t I can’t even fathom how many times that is. It is clear we have a problem as a society, and to cure it we have to go beyond the concept of addiction, but to the concepts of smart phones overall. Are they worth it?

Lenda

John K points out what I believe is wrong with Harris’ argument, that app developers and firms should sacrifice their bottom line and become less competitive for the sake of easing the burden of distractions on consumers. I agree that the compulsive obsession we have with our phones, apps, and the internet is hurting our ability to use our time wisely and give undivided attention to other things, but restricting app developers and social media platforms from maximizing their profits will lead to less competitive markets and worse products. I think a better strategy would be for consumers to pressure the individual companies in having an accountability system and publicly set ethical limits to their advertising and promotions, especially for apps used mostly by kids. Because everyone has different preferences and needs, I think it’s ultimately the consumers’ responsibility to limit their internet use for their sake.

ever collette

While I do agree with what Clay has to say about the importance of cell phones in today’s society, I can also see exactly why the author believes we should try to use our cell phones at a minimum. Because we are constantly on our phones, usually so that we can check social media, as the author points out, we miss out on a lot of things going on around us. Harris talks a lot about how social media is designed to get us hooked on them, which is why it can seem like teenagers are addicted to the social acceptance and societal approval that phone applications give us. And while sometimes we are using our cell phones to make important calls and check emails, often we are wasting time trying to see what everyone else is doing because I believe that our generation has a major case of “F.O.M.O.” or the “fear of missing out.” Harris claims that it is difficult for teens to put their phones down, but I disagree. If we make the conscious decision to use phones for important things and not get sucked into the “slot machine” effect of social media, it’ll be easy to put the phones down.

Dylan G

I agree with Fyfon H’s assertion that people are addicted to their cell phones due to the constant demand for our attention. He draws this point from the main article’s overall topic, that cell phones are like slot machines in our pockets. To further Fyfon’s ideas that people are dependent on their social status based off of social media, I am bringing forward the fact that people use second hand apps to buy themselves followers or likes on various social media apps such as Twitter or Instagram. All of these apps were targeted at the people addicted to their smart phones. I agree with Fyfon’s point due to this because some people go to extreme measures just to have 500 likes instead of 200. All of this comes from, in my opinion, the glorification of Instagram or Twitter famous people, ie the people who get thousands or millions of likes on their posts, where one is sure to find a person commenting something along the lines of “can I be you.” This adds to the peoples addictions so they can compare themselves to their social media idols, and some people will not stop until they have achieved a point where they view themselves as on par with their idols.

Ruan Penland

While I do agree that in today’s society we place too much importance on cell phones, I don’t think that it is an addiction. I think that when it is needed, we are able to put cell phones down and ignore them for as long as necessary. I also don’t believe that our “choices are manipulated upstream by menus we didn’t choose in the first place” as Harris says. While we do rely on our cell phones more than we should, I think we are able to make decisions for ourselves and put our cell phones down when they aren’t needed.

Dsobers

Harris's article addresses a major complaint against the tech-savy and computerized world we live in today: the addiction to smartphones and social media sites that causes lack of connection to the real world. The main argument the responses to this article make is that we are indeed to in touch with our smartphones, and as Harris calls them, "Slot Machines" in our pockets. As a Computer Scientist, I fully believe this opinion, though widely held, is conceptually wrong and pessimistic, as it only analyzes the negative effects of the smartphone. Consider someone born almost 30 years ago, and telling the teenage version of them that one day they would have a phone so powerful it could not only fit in their pocket, but also connect them to the world around the and give them access to all the information they could possibly calculate. Harris calls it an addiction as many of the comments siding with his point do, but I see it as an innovation, connecting us to the world in ways we could never experience without it.

Allitello

In Harris’ article, he makes the claim that cell phones are like slot machines in regards to the addiction that he believes people have. While I agree with his point that developers and companies strive to make people want to feel connected and involved in the online world, I disagree that it is an addiction. I agree with Ruan Penland that people are still capable of putting down their phones and are capable of making conscious decisions that aren’t completely influenced by the online medium. I feel that technology has become an integral part of our society. Our phones and computers make our lives easier and help us to be more connected. While these things are important and useful, they do not control the lives of the users. That may one day be the case, but I do not think that it has come to that yet.

Alexander Lecik

I believe that Harris is right we do check are phones to much. There are more car accidents each year from people being on their phones well driving. I believe the reason people are on their phone is because of all the games and rewards on those games. your phone shouldn't control your life your phone should be used to make your life easier.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan