Hijacked by Design

We’re gaining more experience with technology- by trial and error- and with that experience comes some wisdom.

Tristan Harris, a former “design ethicist” at Google, has published a great article on technology design. Here’s a quote:

I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano.

And this is exactly what product designers do to your mind. They play your psychological vulnerabilities (consciously and unconsciously) against you in the race to grab your attention.

You can watch his TED speech here:

If you’re like me, you’ll see bits n pieces of yourself in the following lists of concerns. Click on the image to see a life-size diagram of your life


As Tristan says, it tends to lead you to an “all on” or “all off” approach to tech. However, here are some practical steps to “design” your life with technology.

  • Ask someone close to you how they experience you as you interact with technology (get fresh eyes on your habits)
  • Begin to monitor your technology habits in two categories:  1) how am I using it to create and contribute? vs. 2) how am I merely consuming?
  • Ask yourself, “how can I use technology to solve problems?”
  • Identify a way (daily) to attach your self worth to who God is and what He says, rather than the social media train.

Here’s a good article on balance 


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