In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Maybe Social Media Isn’t Making Teens Depressed And Here’s What Likely Is (NirAndFar) Instead of panicking about teens’ social media use, what if we focused on sleep and family? In other words, what if we paid attention to the real problems?

‘Tech Addiction’ Is the New Reefer Madness [AUDIO] (Podcast) By promoting the idea that technology is hijacking…

Instead of panicking about teens’ social media use, what if we focused on sleep and family? In other words, what if we paid attention to the real problems?

To learn what the real factors are in teen depression, click here.

Posts you may have missed:

Will Clubhouse be a Habit or Has-Been? (Letter — April 7, 2021)


Moral panics over new technology always hide deeper problems we don’t want to deal with.

Illustration of people reaching towards a smartphone with a rainbow over the smartphone to represent LGBTQ youth.
Illustration of people reaching towards a smartphone with a rainbow over the smartphone to represent LGBTQ youth.
Image courtesy of the author

What do bicycles and social media have in common? Soon after being adopted, each of these technologies brought on a tsunami of unjustified moral panic. Let’s start with bikes.

When bicycles burst onto the Victorian scene in the 1800s, they were a big deal. This cool contraption made it possible to travel much further and faster than you could ever go on foot. Better yet, bikes were a lot cheaper than horses (not to mention simpler to maintain).

Soon enough, bicycles gained popularity with a group whose transportation options had historically been limited: women. At that time, if women wanted…


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Will Clubhouse be a Habit or Has-Been (NirAndFar) The Clubhouse app checks all the boxes in my Hooked Model, which reveals why it is so engaging but also reveals some potentially fatal flaws the company must watch out for.

Love is Measured By the Benefit of the Doubt: The Secret to True Kindness [AUDIO] (Podcast) Defaulting to the…


In our search for easy answers, we give up control.

The evidence is overwhelming: we are far more powerful than the technology that is supposedly mind-controlling us. It’s not even close.

As I’ve discussed here and in many other places, we need to give ourselves more credit. Instead of passively accepting the idea that we’re all being puppeteered by some sort of menacing tech bogeyman, we can hack back distractions.

To be clear, too much social media can be harmful. No one disputes that too much of all sorts of good things can be bad, whether it’s too much news or too much booze.

But the popular narrative that distractions…


The Clubhouse app checks all the boxes in my Hooked Model, which reveals why it is so engaging but also reveals some potentially fatal flaws the company must watch out for if it is to create a lasting habit in users’ lives.

To discover whether I think the Clubhouse app will become a habit or a has-been, click here.

Posts you may have missed:

How to “Listen Like You Mean It” (Letter — April 2, 2021)


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

How to Listen Like You Mean It (NirAndFar) I recently interviewed Ximena Vengoechea about here new book. Listen Like You Mean It, a book to help readers become better listeners in their everyday lives.

The Ultimate Guide to Liars and Lying: Everyone Falls Into These 4 Types [AUDIO] (Podcast) The most useful way to classify lies is by…


To find your focus, learn to resist this self-sabotaging excuse

Photo: Simon Abrams/Unsplash

Imagine this: You’ve been diagnosed with a rare and serious disease. In hopes of keeping you alive, the doctor recommends a new, experimental course of treatment. It works for some people — maybe 60%. But it’s covered by your insurance, and if you are in the 60%, you’ll be successfully cured in six months. What do you do?

Of course you say yes. Maybe you’ll get unlucky and it won’t work for you, but it’s worth a try. You’d probably try the treatment even with only a 10% success rate. …


I recently interviewed Ximena Vengoechea about her new book, Listen Like You Mean It, a book to help readers become better listeners in their everyday lives.

To learn how to listen like you mean it, click here.

Posts you may have missed:

Smartphone Too Distracting? Here’s How to Reclaim Your Focus (Letter — March 29, 2021)


Ximena Vengoechea says we need to “Reclaim the Lost Art of True Connection.”

Ximena (pronounced “hee-men-ah“) is a writer and illustrator best known for her Life Audit project. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, Inc., The Washington Post, The Muse, and Newsweek. She also finds time to publish a lively bi-weekly newsletter with updates on tech, culture, writing, career, creativity, and other topics related to professional and personal development. Recently we chatted about her new book, Listen Like You Mean It.

Nir Eyal: Why did you write this book?

Ximena Vengoechea: As a user researcher, my job involves regularly interviewing strangers — users and prospective users of…

Nir Eyal

Posts may contain affiliate links to my two books, “Hooked” and “Indistractable.” Get my free 80-page guide being Indistractable at: NirAndFar.com

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