Nir Eyal shared with me this thought-provoking slideshow on compulsion loops and the increasing (and scary) influence technology has on our everyday behaviors. The entire deck is worth reviewing but slide 75 stood out to me:
Our culture, obsessed with numbers, has given us the idea that what we can measure is more important than what we can’t measure. Think about that for a minute. It means that we make quantity more important than quality. If quantity forms the goals of our feedback loops, if quantity is the center of our attention and language and institutions, if we motivate ourselves, rate ourselves, and reward ourselves on our ability to produce quantity, then quantity will be the result.
– Donella H. Meadows (Thinking in Systems)
Frightening, isn’t it?