With the Internet constantly at our fingertips, many people lament that we are perpetually distracted, ignoring the outside world to focus on colorful little screens. The Internet is more addicting than ever—the web has an endless supply of evanescent entertainments, which multiply every day. Yet we don’t just aimlessly wander the Internet to find interesting diversions. Instead, we fixate on specific sites and wander within their borders—these sites either generate or aggregate interesting content from the rest of the web, saving us the trouble of finding it.
One of the most striking examples of this is Facebook. In March 2012, Facebook reported having 526 million daily active users on average.1 To compare, the United States has a population of roughly 311 million people, while the entire continent of South America has a population of about 387 million people.
But the addictiveness of Facebook is not just a statistic to me. Continue reading