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It has become a pandemic of misinformation, fear and addiction: Vivek Wadhwa

The digital-detox pioneer who is also a futurist says that it’s time we take control of technology

January 28, 2022 / 08:59 PM IST
Vivek Wadhwa was among the first to speak up about tech products' addiction-inducing design. (Illustration Suneesh Kalarickal)

Vivek Wadhwa was among the first to speak up about tech products' addiction-inducing design. (Illustration Suneesh Kalarickal)

Vivek Wadhwa is many things. An academic–retired Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School and Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering–an entrepreneur, author of best-sellers and one of the first people to call out the dangers of technology industry’s addictive products.

In 2018, when conversations around Facebook’s privacy breaches and meddling in US elections were just beginning, he and Alex Salkever published their book Your Happiness was Hacked–Why Tech is Winning the Battle to Control Your Brain and How to Fight Back. With it, they became the digital-detox pioneers.


With pandemic making us even more dependent and addicted to our screens, Wadhwa tells Moneycontrol how best we can maintain our digital sanity.Which is the first device you reach for in the morning? How long after you wake up?

My phone, after half an hour or an hour of waking up. I don’t always listen to my own advice.