The attention economy
Wealth Insight|August 2021
Keeping users glued to their digital devices is the primary goal of internet companies. This has had many unwelcome consequences.
PUJA MEHRA

My grand mum spent two-third of her time reading without needing specs ever – not even in her 80s. Specs are such a rarity in black-and-white pictures. Although the main reason probably is that fewer people got their eyes tested earlier, it may also be so because there were no screens, and so no strained eyes back then. Look at us now. Our screen time starts on waking up: we check our phones first thing in the morning. This goes on until just before we get into bed at night. That we might be addicted to our phones and devices sounds outrageous but is perhaps not an exaggeration. Then there are cases of extreme behaviors. Newspapers report lives lost to accidents involving screens, selfies, and earplugs. Long hours of device use are giving people aches and stress. The makers of the famous Tiger Balm now have a special variant of the ointment for neck and shoulder pain, seen in heavy users of smartphones and other handheld devices.

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