The real reason Apple and Google want you to use your phone less

“Why would the companies that make your phone want you to use it less? If tech is ‘hijacking your brain’ with their ‘irresistible’ products, as some tech critics claim, why are these companies now acting against their own interests? Perhaps the tech giants have had a change of heart or have been persuaded by public pressure to change their ways?” Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, writes for Quartz. “Hardly.”

“I studied the sophisticated psychology these companies deploy to keep people hooked and wrote a book about how they do it. At first glance, it appears their business model would benefit from addiction. The more you use your phone, the more money they make through the apps you buy and the ads you view,” Eyal writes. “However, the addiction story falls short when considering the long-term interests of these companies. Apple and Google are making it easier for consumers to cut back on phone use because it is in their interest to do so. In this case, what’s good for the user is also good for these companies’ bottom lines.”

“Apple and Google don’t want you to get addicted. Addiction is a compulsive harmful behavior. Rather, they’d prefer you form healthy habits with your digital devices,” Eyal writes. “With very few exceptions, when a product harms people, they use it less or look for alternatives.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Avoiding class action lawsuits and PITA demands from activist shareholders also likely have something to do with it.

Screen Time: Why Apple can’t solve iPhone addiction in a vacuum – June 6, 2018
Apple CEO Cook has been using iOS 12’s ‘Screen Time’ and found he’s on his iPhone too much – June 5, 2018
iOS 12’s Screen Time feature shows how badly Apple’s iPad needs user accounts – June 5, 2018
Who’s really to blame for ‘smartphone addiction’, and who’s responsible for curbing it? – May 18, 2018
Two major Apple shareholders push for study of iPhone addiction in children – January 8, 2018
Researchers: Smartphone addiction creates imbalance in brain – November 30, 2017
USA Today: What is iPhone app addiction doing to people’s health? – October 6, 2009
New addiction courtesy of Apple’s App Store for iPhone, iPod touch: Appiphilia – August 26, 2008


  1. Gadget addiction may indicate a robust economy because people have the means to purchase unneeded devices and may also indicate a satisfied society that it has the time to use them.

    Therefore, I am skeptical that “gadget addiction” is a significant malady.

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