Imagine sitting in a meeting room, at the top floor of the headquarter of a large tech company, in California, and having their Chief UX designer explain you how they make it.
I would’t possibly find a better metaphor to describe Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, by Nir Eyal.
The same author of Hooked, a book about how to make people stick to your product through habit formation, trying now to harness the power of technology for it to serve us an not the other way round.
I have not just read the book and liked it, but ended up studying it: this is why I would like to condense here 3 unexpected and useful takes from the book, aiming to inspire other readers to approach this book and finally tackle one within the prominent issue in our lives nowadays: how much time we spend in front of a screen.
It’s Not About Phone: It’s about You and Who You Want to Be
When a whole industry is working to get your attention is easy to point at them instead of you. However Nir Eyal, other than offering several methods and tricks, presents upfront what is to be considered the fundamental framework to tackle the issue: the way you spend your time represents who you are and who you want to be.
Your schedule derives from your values and it’s better to start from there instead of blaming technology.
There are Two Powerful Questions
- Is the technology serving you or are you serving it instead?
- Why is it so?
We all assume that technology is there to serve us and we are all partly right. The point is that the technological tools we use may not be constructed exclusively for this purpose. I personally find the value of this concept extremely powerful, since the immediate consequence is that we can hack back the tools we use to make them serve us (as it should be).
On the other hand, it is equally important to understand we often use the power of distraction to escape discomfort, so that we try to handle better this kind of situations.
You Are in Control But You Have to Be Proactive
Overusing our phones, lingering on Youtube videos, getting caught by multiple endless interactions: that is the easiest path. Owning the time we want to spend on our phones takes time and effort. Beware the glass is half-full here: it is well possible to hack back your internal and external triggers to turn the way you use technology to be more aligned with your values.
I enjoyed much the first part of this book, where the author presents a framework to look at the problem in unconventional ways, while in the second part one can find a long list of practical tricks to hack back distractions (and cherry-pick what works best).
I know what you are thinking.
Europe and the world are experiencing a difficult situation due to the spread of COVID-19 and we are all aware of it. Italy is being hit very hard: it is the only country in the world where people could react this way and I am confident the situation will get better. Lithuania is also doing its best. This article was conceived in different times and it will surely add nothing to the information already available on this matter. I talked about a book I enjoyed and I am planning to do this more: stay tuned!