Phantom Smartphone Buzzing, And How Web Companies Are Exploiting The Neuroscience Of Addiction

by • July 18, 2012 • Health, Society, TechnologyComments (0)3060

Last week, The Atlantic published a fascinating article on how smart phone culture has led to a phenomenon known as “phantom buzzing”; whereby users are convinced they can feel their phones vibrating in their pockets when nothing is actually vibrating in reality (read it in full by CLICKING HERE).  And this is just the tip of the iceberg of how tech culture is affecting our brains.  The Atlantic also published another interesting piece this morning which explains how web companies are taking full advantage of how the human brain is wired for addiction, and implementing that knowledge into how they design their products in order to make you more hooked.  The following is an excerpt:

When compulsive behavior undermines our ability to function normally, it enters the realm of obsessive-compulsive disorder. By some estimates around 2 to 4 percent of serious gamblers are addicted, and some 10 percent (it may be less or more since most people under-report addiction ) of Internet users have become so obsessed with the Internet that its use is undermining their social relationships, their family life and marriage, and their effectiveness at work. As the performance of Internet-connected devices improves, and as companies learn how to use neuroscience to make virtual environments more appealing, that number will undoubtedly increase. Many Internet companies are learning what the tobacco industry has long known — addiction is good for business. There is little doubt that by applying current neuroscience techniques we will be able to create ever-more-compelling obsessions in the virtual world.

Uhhhhm.  Yeah.  This is not good.  You can read the entire feature by visiting, and be sure to follow The Atlantic on Facebook and Twitter.  I’m not sure if scientists can develop a vaccine against internet addiction like they are close to developing for smoking, but one can only hope.  To learn more about this nicotine vaccine breakthrough CLICK HERE

Source: The Atlantic

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