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Technology writer Bianca Bosker introduces Tristan Harris, the man who wants software companies to stop making addictive apps that sap users’ time and attention. He says it’s unethical; they say it’s good business and believe users are happy. Harris is so committed to being present and connected in the real world that it’s unclear whether he sees any value in the virtual escapism that many enjoy. Nevertheless, his call for tech companies to respect their users is admirable. getAbstract recommends Bosker’s article to anyone who suspects their apps may be controlling their lives.

About the Author

Author Bianca Bosker wrote Original Copies and the soon-to-be-released Cork Dork. She was previously The Huffington Post’s executive tech editor.



Former Google product philosopher Tristan Harris is concerned with technology’s claim on people’s time and attention. He and Joe Edelman launched advocacy group Time Well Spent to address the issue. Its mission is to encourage software developers to make their products less addictive and more respectful of peoples’ time. Harris argues that it is not the users’ fault they can’t put their smartphones down: Corporations design their apps to reward the constant attention.

While studying for a master’s degree, Harris attended Stanford’s Persuasive Technology...

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