#521 Your Digital Addiction

Ancient Rome Says: It’s a Form of Slavery

In our last +1, we talked about all the zeroes (12 of them!) in the Attention Economy.

Today I’d like to talk a little more about addiction.

Specifically, let’s talk about the etymology of the word. Do you know where it comes from?

Once upon a time in ancient Rome, if you couldn’t pay your debt you were sentenced to “addiction” which meant that you basically became a SLAVE until you repaid your debt.


And, you know what?

That’s basically what’s going in with our attention economics.

You’re using sweet tools for “free.” You have a debt to pay. You do so via having your attention pummeled by ads. (Laughing.)

If you’re cool with that, then carry on.

But get this: As “digital ethicist” Tristan Harris says, you’ve gotta AT LEAST know that it’s an unfair fight. Behind every screen there are 1,000 engineers using every trick in the book to hack your million-year-old prefrontal cortex to make sure you spend as much time as possible on their sites/apps/etc. so they can mine your mind for all its worth.

If you’re cool with that, then carry on.

Otherwise, let’s just step back, take a deep breath and decide what’s REALLY important to us and whether we want to continue paying such a high cost in attention, time, energy, productivity, connection and happiness.

The dictionary definition of addiction is simple. It’s basically “a bond that’s difficult to break.”

Rule #1 of conquering any addiction is to ADMIT that you’re (at least a little) addicted.

So, Today’s +1.

Are you addicted?

What can you do to break those bonds just a little more today?

P.S. Check out the Conquering Digital Addiction 101 class for more on how to go about rocking it.

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