The Race for Our Attention

In his TED Talk, How a Handful of Tech Companies Control Billions of Minds Everyday, Tristan Harris discusses the main goal of major tech companies like Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube: To maximize the time spent on their pages.

Harris also highlights three radical changes that he would like to see in the face of digital media:

  1. We must acknowledge that we are persuadable.
  2. There is a great need for new models and accountability systems
  3. We need a design renaissance.

As I reflect on my own social media use, I could not agree more with Harris’s statements. Admittedly, I spend the majority of each day interacting with technology. My morning begins when the alarm on my cell phone rings. I usually read a few news headlines and check my messages before getting dressed for the day. I stream podcasts or music from my phone of the way to work. Besides teaching and meetings, my day is spent communicating via email, searching for online resources, and collaborating asynchronously with colleagues. When I’m not at work, I spent time texting friends, Facetiming with family members, and scrolling aimlessly through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Until recently, I was often left wondering…

How much time do I actually spend using technology?

Screen Time

With Apple’s newest operating system, iOS 12, users are no longer left wondering. According to Apple, “Screen Time — a new feature of iOS 12 — lets you know how much time you and your kids spend on apps, websites, and more. This way, you can make more informed decisions about how you use your devices, and set limits if you’d like to.”


How much time do I actually spend using technology?

Yikes! I’m pretty embarrassed to share this, if I’m being totally honest. Clearly, I have some radical changes to make, which leads to…

This week’s challenge

If you are a user of Apple products, join me in setting app limits for the week and scheduling downtime using Screen Time settings.

Please report back to let me know how the challenge goes! 
Please feel free to share forward. 🙂

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