There’s a reason Adam Alter’s latest TED talk has garnered over 1.6 million views – in it, the psychologist and marketing visionary offers actual suggestions for enriching the precious parcel of personal time an individual has left at the end of the day.
“That space is incredibly important to us,” says Alter. “That’s the space where we do things that make us individuals, where we have close relationships, where we zoom back and try to work out whether our lives have been meaningful. That’s where our humanity lives.”
With a startling graphic, Alter shows how screens are fast encroaching on this parcel of personal time. And though screens are amazing, able to perform communication miracles, they’re also, as he demonstrated in his ground-breaking book Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, making us miserable. So a balance must be struck. Not unlike with certain addictive substances, screens must be moderated. “At first, it hurts,” Alter warns. “But what happens is, you get used to it. You overcome the withdrawl the same way you would from a drug, and life becomes more colorful, richer, more interesting. You have better conversations, you really connect with the people who are there with you. And we know it works.”