Irresistible Book Cover

Irresistible

The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked
Book by: Adam Alter
Publishing Year: 2017
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What’s inside

In the past decade, humanity has seen unprecedented growth and development in the field of technology. Smartphones and smarter tech have taken over how we see and perceive the real world. The virtual world has become the new normal. That being said, such development is not without its curses. We have entered a new realm of addiction that is technology itself. We, who were supposed to be the master of such advanced technology, are becoming slaves instead. In this insight, we shall look into the arguments put forward by Adam Alter and the ways we can control such addictions, or regulate addictive behaviours.

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Lesson 1- The New Age of Addiction

The boon of technology has brought with it a fair share of curses. Addictive behaviours have existed for a long time, but in recent decades they have become more common and harder to resist. These new types of addictions don't involve the ingestion of a substance but produce similar psycho-neurological and chemical changes in us. Binge-viewing, smartphone addictions, constant scrolling social media feeds are all part of this new addictive behaviour that is directly related to technological advancement.

A study revealed that each month almost one hundred hours were lost to checking email, texting, playing games, surfing the web, checking bank balances, etc. On average, this amounts to a staggering eleven years of a person’s lifetime. The study also concluded that people keep checking their phones at least thrice an hour. The prevalence of such behaviour is extremely common. Researchers have coined the term nomophobia to describe the fear of being without a phone. However, the problem with smartphones is that they are a powerful source of a distraction even when they are not being actively used. Smartphones are often held responsible for loosely formed relationships due to our constant usage of the phone while interacting with people leading to a lack of personal touch. In a study, it was determined that infants are the first behavioural addicts and related it to their visual attention. Addiction is a deep attachment to an experience that is harmful and difficult to do without. Behavioural addictions don't involve eating, drinking, injecting, or smoking substances. They arise when a person can't resist a behaviour, which, despite addressing a deep psychological need in the short term, produces significant harm in the long term. Obsession and compulsion are terms closely related to behavioural addiction. Obsessions are thoughts that a person can't stop having, and compulsions are behaviours a person can't stop enacting. There's a key difference between addictions, and obsessions and compulsions, that is, addictions bring the promise of immediate reward or positive reinforcement. In contrast, obsessions and compulsions are intensely unpleasant to not pursue. 

Though extreme levels of behavioural addiction prevent a person from living a normal life, moderate levels of behavioural addiction are fairly common. Addiction is commonly understood as related to substance abuse. However, studies have found that the Internet can be a source of addiction as well. Internet, smartphones, etc. are not inhaled or ingested yet they produce a high-like effect that leads to addiction ranging from moderate to extreme levels.

Lesson 2- Technological Advancement and Addiction

Children are not born craving tech, but they come to see it as indispensable. By the time they enter middle

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About the author

Adam Alter Image

Adam Alter is an associate professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave, and has wri...

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Irresistible Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1- The New Age of Addiction
  • Lesson 2- Technological Advancement and Addiction
  • Lesson 3- What are Addictive Behaviours?
  • Lesson 4- How do Goals Affect our Thought Process?
  • Lesson 5- Casinos and Video Games
  • Lesson 6- Children and Addiction
  • Lesson 7- How do we Regulate Screen Time?
  • Lesson 8- How do we Deal with Addictive Behaviour?
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FAQs

In the summary of Irresistible book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1- The New Age of Addiction
  2. Lesson 2- Technological Advancement and Addiction
  3. Lesson 3- What are Addictive Behaviours?
  4. Lesson 4- How do Goals Affect our Thought Process?
  5. Lesson 5- Casinos and Video Games
  6. Lesson 6- Children and Addiction
  7. Lesson 7- How do we Regulate Screen Time?
  8. Lesson 8- How do we Deal with Addictive Behaviour?

Irresistible by Adam Alter was published in 2017.

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