Q: What do Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Samsung all have in common?
A: Their business models involve interrupting you all day long.
Individually, each company’s interruptions are trivial. You can easily ignore them. But cumulatively, the interruptions from these and other companies can be crippling.
In the economy of the past, companies made money by being useful to customers. Now the biggest tech companies make their money by distracting you with ads and apps and notifications and whatnot. I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist, but I think this is the reason 80% of the adults I know are medicating. People are literally being driven crazy by a combination of complexity (too many choices) and the Interruption Economy.
There are days when my brain is flying in so many directions that I have to literally chant aloud what I need to do next in order to focus.
I’m wondering if you have as many distractions in your life. And if you do, can the chanting help you too? The next time you have a boring task that you know will be subject to lots of interruptions, try the chanting technique and let me know how it goes. It probably won’t cure your ADHD but it might help you ignore the tech industry’s distractions until you get your tasks done.
Bonus question: The economy has evolved from “How can I help you?” to “How can I distract you?” Can that trend lead anywhere but mass mental illness?
My hypothesis, based on observation alone, is that the business model of the tech industry, with its complexity, glut of options, and continuous interruptions are literally driving people to mental illness.
Scott Adams, “The Interruption Economy”, Scott Adams Blog, 2015-07-07.
March 15, 2017
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