Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

“One of the most mesmerizing and important books I’ve read in quite some time. Alter brilliantly illuminates the new obsessions that are controlling our lives and offers the tools we need to rescue our businesses, our families, and our sanity.” Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction—an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans.

Irresistible Adam Alter

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today’s products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist.

By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good—to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play—and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children.

Adam Alter’s previous book, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave is available in paperback from Penguin.

Review

An Amazon Best Book of March 2017: In his fascinating new book, associate professor of marketing and best-selling author Adam Alter examines the rise of behavioral addiction in our current times and offers some suggestions for alleviating your own addictive behavior. Here’s a question: where is your phone right now? Chances are it’s within arm’s reach—and as Alter writes, a device that travels with you is always a better vehicle for addiction. Convenience weaponizes temptation, and with the ubiquity and convenience of technology these days, you can see why behavioral addiction to video games, Facebook, checking your email on your phone, even your Fitbit, is on the rise. Irresistible is a deep and wide-ranging study of addiction, and there is much food for thought here. Alter seems especially concerned about how children and teens interact with technology, citing that they are the most vulnerable of us all. But as adults we are much more susceptible than most of us imagine—we may think we’re just interacting with a screen, but it’s important to remember that there are dozens of highly-paid people behind that screen whose only job is to make sure that we don’t stop. –Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

“As if to prove his point, Adam Alter has written a truly addictive book about the rise of addiction. Irresistible is a fascinating and much needed exploration of one of the most troubling phenomena of modern times.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of New York Times bestsellers David and Goliath and Outliers

“Alter’s sweep is broad: He includes not just the more obvious addictive technologies such as slot machines and video games, but the whole sweep of social media, dating apps, online shopping and other binge-inducing programs. He takes in everything (which today is most things) whose business model depends on being irresistible…[An] enjoyable yet alarming book.”—Washington Post

“If you can’t stop checking, clicking, surfing and liking, put your device down and read Adam Alter’s Irresistible, an important, groundbreaking book about why we’re addicted to technology, how we got here, and what we should do next.”—Arianna Huffington, author of The Sleep Revolution and Thrive

“One of the most mesmerizing and important books I’ve read in quite some time. Alter brilliantly illuminates the new obsessions that are controlling our lives and offers the tools we need to rescue our businesses, our families, and our sanity.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

“This important book explores how technology keeps us hooked, why that’s destructive—and how to take back control.” — People