Your Phone Is Trying to Control Your Life

The Atlantic piece “The Binge Breaker” explores Tristan Harris’s plan to stop smartphone addiction. He’s a former Google employee and the founder of Time Well Spent, an advocacy group that wants the world to disengage more easily from devices. In this interview with PBS Newshour, Harris explains how companies profit from keeping people entranced with their phones. “For any company whose business model is advertising, or engagement-based advertising, meaning they care about the amount of time someone spends on the product, they make more money the more time people spend,” he says. “These services are in competition with where we would want to spend our time, whether that’s our sleep or with our friends. There’s this war going on to get as much attention as possible.”