Phone Addiction! Yes, it’s a thing and the Technology Industry Knows All About it
There are many addictions that a person can have, alcohol, drugs, food, and many other things! Now technology is an addiction for our generation. This generation is the most depressed and most medicated generation ever! This points to the fact that “social media” is not really social as people are feeling lonelier than ever. Many companies are working hard to get our attention through technology even to the point that people have the title and job of an Attention Engineer. We look further into this addiction and why exactly many are addicted to technology and their phones.
Denzel Washington gives his remarks about technology devices, “People have to understand. Are you using your device or is your device using you? Can you put it down? Can you turn it off?” When we allow our phones to control us then it is stopping love in our lives and it separates us from the real people around us. He continues speaking about how we have access to too much information. “What is the long-term effect of too much information? One of the effects is the need to be first, not even to be true anymore.” He speaks to the media saying that they have the responsibility to tell the truth and to not worry about being first.
Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker, gives his concern over the access that is available on our phones. “My biggest concern is unfettered access to social media and cell phones, quite frankly. Because there’s a biology to these things that are as addictive as alcohol, nicotine, and gambling.”
Ben Halpert, founder of Savvy Cyber Kids, shares his thoughts on cell phone usage. “Right now, a family is out to dinner at a restaurant. Not enjoying each other’s company, but each staring into the screen of their choice, completely ignoring the family members and this is mom, dad and the children. All doing the same thing, while they continue to eat, they did it the entire meal.” He continues talking about how infants are getting phones! “Right now, an infant is getting their first iPhone and learning to tap and swipe while drooling on it. 92% of 2-year old’s play video games. Because that is what parents are putting in front of their precious children to keep them entertained and quiet.”
It is interesting that people that are talking about this issue today, we were not talking about it 2 years ago in our previous administration. Prophecy is coming to pass that Pastor John Kilpatrick prophesied, that truth would begin to come out! The truth is out!
Google released a paper that their own user experience researchers wrote. They wrote about why people can’t put down their phones. The Washington Post reports on this subject. “Google released a new paper written by its own user experience researchers that delves into the reasons that we can’t put down our phones, and starts to explore what companies can do about it. It also calls on the technology industry to reexamine the way it ties engagement to success — noting that capturing people’s attention is not necessarily the best way to measure whether they’re satisfied with a product…It does, however, take aim at the basic way that Internet companies — including Google — have elevated engagement as the best metric to measure success, creating an economy where attention becomes the most important currency… The paper suggests that the reasons people are glued to their phones are mostly social — something other researchers have said in the past — and tied to the “fear of missing out.” The study particularly outlines the pressure people feel to respond to messages quickly. Participants said they think etiquette dictates that someone responds to a message within about 20 minutes. But to meet this expectation often presents conflicts — distraction from what they were doing, taking attention away from the other people they were spending time with, or interrupting them from free time,” the paper said. The study also said that people are so conditioned to respond to notifications that they’re constantly checking their phones to make sure they don’t miss anything.”
We need to make sure that we keep our children safe and even keep ourselves safe from the terrible things that are available on the internet. Pornography is still one of the most searched for things on the internet! You can protect your family with Covenant Eyes to filter what can be seen online. Be sure to sign up for that today if you don’t already have it.
Once you see how many people dictate what we see online and our phones it is shocking! A former Google employee Tristan Harris shares these shocking details. “Never before in history have 50 mostly male 20-35-year-old designers, living in California, working at three tech companies, influenced how a billion people spend their time.” 50 young men are controlling what a billion people do!!
Today we can look at people and notice that they must be looking at their device all the time! It is very important for us to take time away from our devices, they are distracting us. We can take time away from technology to spend time with God and our families, to reconnect.
Tristian Harris continues to remark about vulnerabilities in our minds and how our phones are like slot machines. “Another vulnerability in our mind is something called a variable schedule reward and that’s like a slot machine in Las Vegas. It turns out that slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined. People become addicted to slot machines, I think it’s, 2-3 times faster than any other kind of gambling in a casino…why is that? It is very simple, you just pull a lever and sometimes you get a reward and sometimes you don’t. The more random it is and the more variable it is the more addictive it becomes.” Tristian says all this to set up the fact, that how a slot machine causes addiction is the same way many have a phone addiction!
“Because every time we check our phone we are playing the slot machine to see what did I get? Every time we check our email we are playing the slot machine to see what did I get, did I get invited to an interview…or did I just get another newsletter. Or if you’re on a dating site like Tinder when your swiping, each swipe is playing the slot machine.”
He continues to share that how our devices are set up is the best way to get us addicted! “These variable schedule rewards, or these slot machine mechanics, is so powerful that it’s the best thing at addicting people and putting you in the zone. One of the original designers of the Facebook News Feed told me that the thing that made the news feed work, at the very beginning back in 2006, was in part a hardware innovation…it was…the scroll wheel on a mouse. With the scroll wheel on the mouse your hand never had to leave the resting position…it is more like a slot machine, you can just keep swiping and playing. Just like in Vegas when there is a button right there…It used to be a lever and now it’s just a button in Vegas because they found it is just easier to get people to see if they get a match this way.” He shares how Instagram and Snapchat and red notifications are like slot machines because you don’t know what you are going to get until you scroll or click on it.
Very few people will say they are addicted if they are addicted. There is a way to find out if you are addicted and to find out what exactly you do on your phone and even your family’s phones! You can get an app, Moment, it will tell you how many times you pick up your phone, how long you use it, and what you look at and so much more! It even has courses you can take to help you use your phone less. If we really care about people, including ourselves, we will make sure to help so that we can be less distracted and addicted to our devices. We don’t want to miss out on love and relationships that God has given us! We can learn how to be family again, which is what our goal is at Vine Fellowship Network. We fellowship together, eat together, and spend time with each other learning together, how to be family as God meant it to be and you can come be a part! Make sure to watch or listen to the full segment! We want to hear from you, you can write to us at [email protected]. Greg and John shared in this segment.