Why our screens make us less happy | Adam Alter | Summary and Q&A

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Why our screens make us less happy | Adam Alter


This content explores the concept of "dogfooding" in the business world and discusses the impact of screens on our personal time and interactions.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the strategy known as "dogfooding" in the business world?

"Dogfooding" is the practice of businesspeople using their own products to demonstrate their confidence in them, even if it doesn't mean eating dog food. (50 words)

Q: What is the exception to the "dogfooding" rule in the business world?

The screen-based tech industry is a common exception to the "dogfooding" rule, where businesses and individuals do not use their own products, as exemplified by Steve Jobs and other tech executives who limit their children's use of technology. (54 words)

Q: How much time do people spend in front of screens during their personal time?

According to the speaker's research, people now spend a significant amount of their personal time in front of screens. In 2007, it was a small portion, but it has significantly increased to almost the entirety of their free time in recent years. (49 words)

Q: Which types of apps do people spend the most time on, and how does it affect their happiness?

People tend to spend three times longer using apps that do not make them happy, such as dating, social networking, gaming, entertainment, news, and web browsing. In contrast, apps focused on relaxation, exercise, weather, reading, education, and health make them much happier. (53 words)

Q: How can stopping cues be helpful in reducing screen time?

Stopping cues are signals that prompt us to move on to something different or new. In the past, stopping cues were built into activities like reading a book or watching a TV show. However, with the constant scrolling nature of social media feeds and news platforms, these cues have disappeared, leading to excessive screen time. Establishing stopping cues, such as putting away phones during certain activities like meals, can be an effective strategy to limit screen usage. (86 words)

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • "Dogfooding" is a strategy in the business world where companies use their own products to demonstrate confidence in them, but this is not common in the screen-based tech industry.

  • Screens are taking up more of our personal time, leaving less time for activities that make us individuals and happy.

  • We should set boundaries with our screens, such as not using our phones at the dinner table, to have more meaningful experiences and connections in our lives.

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