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How tech has been designed to foster addiction

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How tech has been designed to foster addiction

When the World Wide Web was first ushered into existence by founder Tim Berners-Lee in 1991, he and many others envisioned it as the dawn of a new era. For the first time in human history, people would be more connected than ever, while information would be free from corporate and government powers and democratically accessible to all. More than 20 years later, the world and everyone we know within it can be found at our fingertips. Of course, technology is much bigger than the internet, but this development has arguably been the most influential in terms of the impact on society in recent decades. While there have been numerous positives, his vision for an egalitarian free-for-all hasn’t quite panned out the way he’d hoped. Here's how tech has been designed to become so addictive.

Signs of the times

Emoji use is growing like a particularly good crop of  🍆. But the universal emoji keyboard is a closely guarded volume, with each icon painstakingly selected based on a huge number of criteria, ✏️  Jessy Edwards. So how does one get an emoji accepted onto this 📇 , what does the proliferation of emojis mean for the future of  💬 , and what do a 🇳🇿  living in Amsterdam and a reality TV star have to do with it?

Idealog fiction

Ted Robertson woke beneath a wave of anxiety, an unexpected and inexplicable mood of the type that a man occasionally discovers upon consciousness. And though he didn’t know where it had come from or what it meant, he sensed already that it was going to set a mildly unwelcome tone for the next few hours; an emotional dunking from which he’d remain damp for the rest of the evening.

Idealog + Kiwibank

Bitcoin, blockchain, banking. Ask any tech-inclined financial brain and they’ll tell you that 2017 is the year these three B’s – as well as AI, robo advice and host of other new technologies – collide. Brace yourself, says Jonathan Cotton, because the way we borrow, lend, save, spend and transfer money is about to change radically if the innovators, entrepreneurs, big thinkers and progressive incumbents focusing on this sector have their way.