Digital Detox Challenge
Punkt. is a reasonably small, dynamic and independent company, and we want to keep close connections with our customers and with individuals and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we regularly run 'Punkt.Challenges'. These include design challenges that form part of postgraduate design courses, and digital detox challenges where self-confessed smart device addicts are welcomed to revisit their relationship with technology.
10 years earlier, smart devices were still really unusual. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the smart device is uncommon. Ten years ago, the majority of individuals had smart phones, but they would usually just attract our attention if another human being had actually chosen to call us or send us a text. Now that the majority of people's lives are a lot more automated: the new normal is to scoot around within a continuous onslaught of status updates, push alerts and a whole lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running considering that 2016. The negative elements of smartphones weren't extensively gone over at that point, but there has considering that been a surge of interest in the topic. Participant reports are a crucial element of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and releasing these reports we intend to keep the discussion of individuals's relationship with technology popular and on-going - both in terms of tech addiction and the value of top quality style in the real (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The big distinction this time round was that the term 'smartphone dependency' had actually clearly gone into typical parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, but in 2018 individuals were beginning to sound genuinely fretted. You can read the reports listed below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the lots of applications we received:
" The continuous scrolling."
" I attempted it with an old classic phone, it was like going back to an ex - with all the old pros and cons. Who does that?"
" We utilize our phones a lot - why should not they be gorgeous in addition to practical?"
" I'm doing my own version now, but I had to choose a broke ass burner phone that's 10 years old ...".
" As a UI designer for digital products I've often questioned some of the success requirements utilized in my market, specifically 'engagement' as a metric for success. Until that changes, regrettably it's really difficult to combat versus 100s of designers who are aiming to hook you into their items.  There is a particular irony about this as I develop for these products however desire to avoid them. I think it's a chance for me as a designer to value how important our attention is, and attempt to take that lesson back into my market, ideally to affect a modification in method to technology.".
" I have actually started eliminating all my social networks profiles and have actually immediately noticed the positive impact it's had on me. I am so much calmer now, and I wish to keep it that way, by likewise removing my smart device for excellent.".
Life is too short to keep our heads down.
Technology has significantly changed over the last century, from being a practical tool in our lives to keeping us as hooked in as much as it can and for the longest period of time. This Challenge modifications that in its totality, pressing us into recognizing what is going on. I've constantly liked using the latest things, however considering that Punkt. has been around, I wished to alter that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's exactly what took place. When you go from a continuously buzzing smartphone to a phone like this, you realize how much you can compromise all these applications that keep you hooked all day long: you don't require them.
In a way, you do end up being type of separated socially from your pals-- let's say if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- however you begin to understand that it's for the much better, and the Punkt. MP01 accomplishes simply that. It teaches you simplicity and teaches you that you do not need everything on your phone. Simply the fundamentals.
If you feel like you are hooked on your phone, like the majority of people I have actually met, it might be a great time to offer this phone a try. A number of my own family members experience this sensation and I feel like passing this difficulty on to others so they can get the hang of it. This Challenge has actually ended up being so essential in 2018 because-- as I stated-- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. are here to keep us hooked in for the longest time. Do not think me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will realize that you do not even take note of exactly what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it might be a great time to obtain that took a look at, and an excellent way to tackle it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we invest looking at screens, the lesser daytime ends up being-- and sometimes, yes, more of a hindrance. Whether you're inspecting your messages while strolling to work, enjoying your smart device with your friends (who are each delighting in theirs), or watching a movie, daytime is an inconvenience.
We began heading in this manner because we wished to. Nowadays-- to a large degree-- we merely do it due to the fact that we do it. And because others want us to do it.
Is this truly how you desire to invest your time in the world?
* * *.
In 2016, Google staff member Tristan Harris left his task to discovered a new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which looked for to broaden the argument on what technology is doing to us and resulted in the development of the Center for Humane Technology. Because then, the subject has actually taken off into the mainstream and it has become clear that it is refraining from doing great things to our general sense of wellness.
The web page of the Center's website features a striking montage image. A generic graphic of a smart device is combined with a photograph of a woman. However she is not provided as being on the screen. She remains in fact looking out from the phone, leaning with her arms folded on the bottom edge of the screen as though it were a windowsill. She appears delighted, enjoying the view. And she is bathed in sunlight.
Perhaps it makes sense to use these brighter nights for something besides looking at pixels? When bedtime approaches, matching sundown with a digital sundown: everything changed off, leaving simply a land-line with a number known only to household and buddies, and a devoted alarm clock.
Joining those who have actually dumped their smartphones completely, integrating a standard phone with a laptop or tablet (much better for typing on). Nowadays these ideas may sound nearly extreme, however as far as biology is worried, they're exactly what your brain desires. Hence the medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Since of the evident decrease in traffic mishaps, Daylight Saving Time is said to increase life span of a nation's citizens. Ditto prohibiting phone usage while driving, naturally (with a much clearer causal link). Phones are harmful in other ways, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one danger a lot of, etc. But over-use of tech diminishes our lives in another method as well-- incrementally and undoubtedly. It gives us a narrower existence in which we are less focussed, less rested and therefore less awake. Over-use consumes our lives, and it's becoming the norm.
Time for a rethink?
Do you discover that anywhere you go, you constantly end up in the same location: in front of your smart device? Utilizing it, or letting it use you, to remain 'connected'? Connected with exactly what individuals depend on back home. Gotten in touch with the most recent news reports. Gotten in touch with work. Connected with games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Gotten in touch with images from the last vacation you took, and the one before that. What type of 'connection' is that, truly? This circumstance is something that's sneaked up on us, and perhaps it's time to begin making some decisions ...
A vacation is a chance to turn off, to experience new things. But if we do not likewise turn off our devices, if we continue to outsource our awareness to image sensing units and memory cards, if we're still attached to what we were doing before we left and exactly what we'll be doing when we get back, it's as if we're paying a sort of vacation tax. Part of the experience is subtracted-- and not to help the local economy, however to assist line the pockets of shareholders of social media companies.
Envision a traditional travelogue like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, minus this tax. There would not be much left. And even if we're looking for something a bit less intense for our fortnight away, the principle still uses. Whether it's a case of pings on the beach, or livestreaming from the Louvre, something's acquired however something's lost. And on the subject of getting lost, yes, without a mobile phone it could happen. And maybe you'll wind up someplace that ends up being the emphasize of your journey. Maybe you'll discover some interesting dining establishment that isn't really on tripadvisor.com. You might wind up speaking to some locals. Absolutely nothing ventured, absolutely nothing got. This ties in with the growing sluggish travelmovement, and the recovering of overland travel as a mainstream and realistic alternative to flying, shown by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's all about existing.
If we do decide to have a vacation that does not focus on processing big data, there are a couple of alternatives. We can go to the other extreme, and leave house with no kind of phone or tablet. (That never ever utilized to be a severe, however we reside in severe times.) And we have choices like altering our gadget's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe during the day, etc
. Or we can take a various phone. One that just does calls and texts. Then immerse ourselves in a various culture, have some experiences, or just take pleasure in a bit of peace and peaceful.
The physical act of switching phones goes deep. It's a bit like flying the nest. And it's beginning to get in appeal: whether a low-cost, old-tech model or something more elegant and up-to-date, deciding to often utilize a simple phone is something that everyone can associate with nowadays. They might refrain from doing it themselves, however they definitely know why some people do.
There are practical benefits, too. Only having to charge your phone periodically is popular with everybody however if you're going someplace without mains electrical energy, your greedy smart device will be no usage at all. Likewise, with a basic phone you do not require to keep inspecting that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly discovered some method of running up monster-sized data roaming charges-- it can still happen. However it's the 'actually being there' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a mobile phone will suggest a few mix-ups, a lowered ability to plan, to know ahead of time exactly what's going to take place. Taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on basic phones are frequently useful reference much harder than the large areas of glass discovered on their more complicated cousins. Changing a broken smart device screen is a trouble at the very best of times; increase that by 10 if you're abroad.
But it's the 'in fact being there' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a mobile phone will mean a few mix-ups, a reduced ability to strategy, to know ahead of time exactly what's going to happen. But taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is.