Your phone is addictive. That’s really no joke!

ellen rhymes
Jun 24 · 1 min read

Ask any addict who drinks, bets or smokes:
you think you can stop anytime you decide,
& that’s why you probably haven’t yet tried.

Free markets run on supply & demand,
so CEOs want that phone stuck to your hand.
Expert psychologists help them design
chimes, bells & whistles that mold to your mind:
see that round bubble, shiny, bright red,
urging you not to leave that thing unread?
See how your apps feel so pleasing & clear?
That’s not by accident! That’s engineered
to make things so easy you don’t have to think — 
calming, habitual, just like a drink.


This poem could not have been written without the help of engineering student Michael Tollman in the Farnam Street Learning Community.

Image via The Zero Theorem.

ellen rhymes

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