Like the Cherokee parable of the two wolves, the battle for your attention waged between your life and your distractions will be won by the wolf you feed.
Today’s post is about two recent articles highlighting how the world is catching on to the problems of addiction in the attention economy. In the book, The Common Rule, author Justin Early, talks about how your phone and the Internet are tools that can have great benefit to people. But unlike a hammer, your phone is not neutral. Your phone entices you to spend ever more time on it. The companies behind your favorite apps then sell your time to advertisers.
The first is about Britain’s Prince Harry wanting to ban the hugely popular video game Fortnite because “It’s too addictive, especially for young people.” “It’s created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible, it’s so irresponsible.” With that argument can banning social media be far behind?
We haven’t mentioned the video game industry here yet. It is another multibillion dollar industry profiting from your time and attention. These profits often come at the expense of your sleep, sanity, and relationships.
The second article is about how Apple has decided to ban apps that encourage you to spend less time on your device. Does this shock any of you knowing that Apple makes a portion of its money, and enables its partners to make their money, based on how much time you spend on their device. This sure sounds like a conflict of interest to me.