Day 19: Your Phone Wants You to Look at it
My apologies for not writing the last two days!
What I would like to discuss today is something I have been putting much thought into the last few days, and it has to do with why our smartphones are so addicting.
Apart from the fact that I believe smartphones offer us a sense of escape, instant gratification, and a way to block our deepest existential fears, there is another reason I believe smartphones are so addicting, and that is because they are literally designed to keep us coming back to them.
Like a tree that constantly needs to be watered and taken care of, the companies who create the apps we use have a vested interest in us being on our phones. If nobody went on Facebook anymore, the shoe company who placed their ads on your newsfeed wouldn't get any clicks anymore. Social media sites need you to keep coming back so that they can continue their business. This goes beyond monetary reasons. If none of us decided to visit any social media sites, there would be no content to fill up the news feeds.
We are the water which feeds the tree, but the tree can send notifications saying its thirsty. Ever not go on one of your social media apps for a while? You'll get notifications pretty quickly urging you to get back on.
It is crucial that we understand that companies have a vested interest in us continuing to look at our phones. The more time we have a eyes glued to the screen, the more ad revenue is being pumped into social media sites. While this isn't evil or necessarily bad, we have to understand that it is more than just us being addicted to our phones, our phones want us to look at them.