- Extinguishing intrinsic motivation
- Diminishing performance
- Crushing creativity
- Crowding out good behavior
- Encouraging cheating, shortcuts and unethical behavior
- Becoming addictive
- Fostering short term thinking
Said another way, we become possessed by our possessions. We lose sight of who we are, what we really want and how we can make a difference on others' lives. We become possessed by the urge to possess more possessions. We get hooked on gaining the world and losing our soul of meaning, purpose and genuine fulfillment. Our lives become increasing empty, desperate and driven rather than validating, calming and free of fixations.
Extrinsic motivators don't merely compete with intrinsic motivation, they annihilate it. Extrinsic motivators don't offer a choice between greedy accumulation of more stuff and creative reuses and reduction of clutter, they eliminate creativity. Extrinsic motivators don't merely make ways to show off seem rewarding, they turn it into an addiction.
For these reasons, motivators are far more powerful than mediators when the two function at cross purposes. Paycheck prisons win out over social media. Job requirements and rewards defeat the widespread compassion mobilized by new technologies.