The Digital Spell: The Hidden Power of Persuasive Technology

The book that every social media user should read! The third book by popular speaker and sales success Perttu Pölönen!

Only a few dozen social media executives ultimately decide where the attention of billions of people will be directed. At the same time, a large part of the population is unable to explain how the internet works, even at a basic level. We have embarked on a massive human experiment with an alarmingly inadequate understanding.

Of the many consequences of the smartphones, only a few were desired, considered, and intentional. Smartphones have altered human behavior more profoundly in just two decades than any previous technology in the same timespan. We have allowed social media to alter our perception of the world, thinking, values, and behavior. The change has been unpredictable, imperceptible, and fundamental—mental health issues, shortened attention spans, polarization, and loneliness are just a few of the outcomes. Perhaps technology is not merely a neutral tool or a solution to our problems but rather a guide that reveals our real problems.

In his latest book, Perttu Pölönen asks what kind of technology we wish to use, who we want to develop it, whose interests it should serve, and what we use technology for. In the era of ChatGPT and generative AI, discussing design, values and ethics has become more crucial than ever. Billions of people are already “plugged into the system”—now we need to find answers to how that system should ideally work.