In our lifetimes, behavioral addiction may prove to be one of the most important fields of social, medical, and psychological research. The very idea of behaviors being addictive is new, but the threat is near universal. We are only just beginning to understand that we are all potential addicts. Adam Alter, Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, is at the cutting edge of research into what makes these products so compulsive, and he shows that the price for continuing blindly down the path we are on will be huge.People have always formed addictions to harmful substances, but these days we are hooked on technologies such as Twitter, Netflix, and Facebook--inventions and devices we use in the hope of making our lives better and more enjoyable. Of course, these devices have amazing upside, but their extraordinary appeal isn't an accident. Technology companies and marketers have teams of engineers and researchers devoted to keeping us glued to the screen. They know how to push our buttons, how to get us using without our knowledge.Tracing the very notion of addiction through history right up until the present day, Alter shows that we're only just beginning to discover the tip of the iceberg of the epidemic of behavioral addiction gripping society. This goes to the core of who we are. He takes us inside the human brain at the very moment we switch on a game on our smartphones, or share a photo on Instagram in the hope of people "liking" it. But more than that, he heads the problem off at the pass, letting us know what we can do to step away from the screen. He lays out the options we have address this problem before it truly consumes us. After all, who among us hasn't felt the terrible compulsive power of social media, video games, or simply checking your phone?
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