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Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter
Penguin Press, March 07, 2017

According to Adam Alter in Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, the compulsion to check and engage with technology is now classified as a behavioral addiction. As such, it is beyond any of us, especially our students for whom technology is the air they breathe, to ensure healthy digital habits without intention and support. To hone in on the unique aspects of addictive technology, including games such as World of Warcraft, Alter moves deftly through the wider field of historically addictive substances and behaviors. Businesses, he shows, work strategically to ensure that their games and apps leave nothing to chance when it comes to sustaining the interest of their users. But, says Alter, “we can’t abandon technology, nor should we.” Solutions are at our fingertips, including disabling email at midnight, adding stopping points like chapters to games, and “demetricating” social media sites. Given that Steve Jobs of Apple and Evan Williams of Twitter thought it was important to limit their own children’s exposure to the very devices and apps they created, it stands to reason that teachers and parents follow Alter’s expert advice about staving off and addressing what is insatiable about technology.

Submitted By: Jessica Flaxman, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte, NC

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