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Pop Loser No. 102

by Tyler Hellard


The Subtle Nudges That Could Unhook Us From Our Phones

Notifications and alerts have become the trendy synecdoche with everything wrong with technology. 

It is tempting to blame our failure to resist our phones, apps, and feeds on a lack of self control. As with so many things in life, the recipe for a healthy relationship with technology seems to boil down to a command of one's impulses. But how you use your phone, and the apps on it, is ultimately about decisions—and decisions hinge on more than self control. They're also informed by rational and irrational judgements, subconscious biases, and information gaps (among other factors), all of which contribute to a quirk of human behavior that has long fascinated psychologists, philosophers, and economists: People will often make a decision at one point in time that becomes inconsistent—or works against their apparent interests—at a later point in time.


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