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Addicted to Digital

One day during Christmas break, with lots of family around, I stopped to notice that everyone, including myself, was either on their phone or a computer. No one was talking with one another. No one was moving. The TV wasn’t even on.

This common modern phenomenon is explored in a new book, “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” written by New York University professor and social psychologist Adam Alter, as reported by Times Science reporter Claudia Dreifus. Some stats: People are spending nearly 3 hours each day on their cellphones. 60 percent of adults said they keep their cellphones next to them when they sleep. Snapchat says its users open their app more than 18 times a day.

Asked what he would do if he were advising a friend on quitting their behavioral addictions? “I’d suggest that they be more mindful about how they are allowing tech to invade their life. Next, they should cordon it off. I like the idea, for instance, of not answering email after six at night. In general, I’d say find more time to be in natural environments, to sit face to face with someone in a long conversation without any technology in the room. There should be times of the day where it looks like the 1950s or where you are sitting in a room and you can’t tell what era you are in. You shouldn’t always be looking at screens.”

Great advice. But let’s make this conversation quick, there’s a great video on YouTube I have to show you.

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