The worrying growth of the business of addiction

Mikko Alasaarela
Aug 19, 2017 · 1 min read

Just a couple of decades ago, we used to purchase our entertainment on a physical media like books, CDs, DVDs, and cartridges. We bought our movies, music, games and books based on the value of the contents.

With social media like Facebook and Youtube, free-to-play games like League of Legends and Clash Royale, and subscription services like Spotify and Netflix, the incentives have shifted.

Today, the most popular business model is to offer you content for free, then addict you, and then monetize your addiction.

It is not that different from how drug dealers operate.

Because of this, we have thousands upon thousands of developers working on algorithms to addict you to their content.

We are arriving at a point where we could lose a whole generation of people to digital addictions. People lose their jobs, partners, friends and even their life to addicting games and other entertainment.

Is there any way to reverse this trend?

Or are we doomed to spend our lives as slaves of artificial intelligences that deliver us ever more addictive digital content?

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