Tristan Harris: Every Notification You Get ‘Schedules Your Thoughts’

Lessons from the former Google design ethicist's new TED talk.

Technology isn’t “evolving randomly,” Tristan Harris said in his new TED talk. And rather than focus solely on the future of tech—like artificial intelligence—Harris argues we should take a serious look at what technology doing to us now.

According to Harris, technology today has one goal: stealing our attention. Somewhere, a room full of people are designing the way your attention is going to be spent. Every single app, website or social media platform you use is tailored using neuroscience and psychology to keep you hooked and keep you scrolling for as long as possible. And while a room full of coders controlling your mind sounds like the stuff of science fiction, it’s not, Harris said. Every notification you get, every ding and chime, “schedules your thoughts.”

Harris, who partnered with Thrive Global to launch Time Well Spent, wants to educate people about how persuasive technology works so that we can be empowered and capable of regaining our time and attention.

Watch the entire TED talk below. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


10 TED Talks Exploring Our Relationship with Technology

by Delfina Forstmann
Time Well Spent//

What If Instead Of Controlling Your Life, Your Phone Helped You Live It?

by Drake Baer
Photo by Austin Distel

Managing Your Screen Time During Lockdown

by Jessica Warren
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.