Punkt. is a reasonably small, dynamic and independent business, and we prefer to keep close connections with our clients and with people and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we regularly run 'Punkt.Challenges'. These consist of design difficulties that form part of postgraduate design courses, and digital detox difficulties where self-confessed smart device addicts are invited to review their relationship with innovation.
10 years back, smartphones were still extremely uncommon. Now, a life lived outside the structure of the smart device is uncommon. 10 years ago, the majority of people had smart phones, but they would generally just attract our attention if another human had actually chosen to call us or send us a text. Now that the majority of people's lives are so much more automated: the new typical is to scamper around within a nonstop assault of status updates, push alerts and an entire lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running considering that 2016. The unfavorable aspects of mobile phones weren't extensively gone over at that point, but there has because been a surge of interest in the topic. Participant reports are an essential aspect of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and publishing these reports we aim to keep the discussion of individuals's relationship with technology popular and on-going - both in regards to tech addiction and the importance of high-quality design in the real (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The big distinction this time round was that the term 'smartphone addiction' had clearly gotten in typical parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, however in 2018 people were starting to sound genuinely fretted. You can check out the reports listed below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the lots of applications we received:
" The consistent scrolling."
" I tried it with an old traditional phone, it resembled going back to an ex - with all the old pros and cons. Who does that?"
" We use our phones a lot - why should not they be beautiful in addition to practical?"
" I'm doing my own variation now, but I had to settle for a broke ass burner phone that's 10 years old ...".
" As a UI designer for digital items I've often questioned some of the success criteria used in my industry, particularly 'engagement' as a metric for success. Till that modifications, unfortunately it's very tough to battle versus 100s of designers who are attempting to hook you into their items.  There is a certain irony about this as I design for these items however wish to avoid them. However I believe it's an opportunity for me as a designer to appreciate how valuable our attention is, and attempt to take that lesson back into my market, ideally to influence a modification in technique to technology.".
" I have begun getting rid of all my social networks profiles and have instantly discovered the favorable impact it's had on me. I am a lot calmer now, and I wish to keep it that way, by likewise eliminating my smart device for good.".
Life is too brief to keep our heads down.
Technology has significantly altered over the last century, from being a helpful tool in our lives to keeping us as connected in as much as it can and for the longest amount of time. This Challenge changes that in its totality, pushing us into recognizing exactly what is going on. I've always liked utilizing the latest things, but considering that Punkt. has been around, I wished to change that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's exactly what happened. When you go from a constantly buzzing smart device to a phone like this, you realize just how much you can sacrifice all these applications that keep you hooked all day long: you don't need them.
In a way, you do end up being kind of apart socially from your pals-- let's state if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- but you begin to recognize that it's for the better, and the Punkt. MP01 accomplishes just that. It teaches you simpleness and teaches you that you don't need everything on your phone. Just the fundamentals.
If you seem like you are hooked on your phone, like the majority of people I have actually met, it could be a great time to offer this phone a try. A lot of my own member of the family experience this sensation and I feel like passing this difficulty on to others so they can master it. This Challenge has ended up being so important in 2018 because-- as I stated-- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. are here to keep us hooked in for the longest time. Don't think me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will realize that you don't even take notice of what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it may be an excellent time to get that took a look at, and an excellent way to go about it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we spend taking a look at screens, the lesser daylight becomes-- and in some cases, yes, more of a hindrance. Whether you're checking your messages while walking to work, enjoying your mobile phone with your good friends (who are each enjoying theirs), or viewing a movie, daytime is a trouble.
We began heading by doing this because we wanted to. Nowadays-- to a large degree-- we just do it since we do it. And since others desire us to do it.
Is this truly how you desire to invest your time in the world?
* * *.
In 2016, Google worker Tristan Harris left his task to found a new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which sought to expand the debate on what innovation is doing to us and caused the creation of the Center for Humane Technology. Since then, the topic has actually taken off into the mainstream and it has actually ended up being clear that it is not doing advantages to our basic sense of well-being.
The home page of the Center's website includes a striking montage image. A generic graphic of a smartphone is integrated with a picture of a lady. She is not provided as being on the screen. She is 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 pleased, delighting in the view. And she is bathed in sunlight.
Possibly it makes good sense to use these brighter evenings for something aside from taking a look at pixels? And when bedtime approaches, matching sundown with a digital sundown: everything turned off, leaving simply a land-line with a number known just to household and buddies, and a dedicated alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have dropped their smart devices completely, integrating a fundamental phone with a laptop or tablet (much much better for typing on). Nowadays these ideas might sound practically extreme, but as far as biology is concerned, they're exactly what your brain wants. For this reason the medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Due to the fact that of the evident reduction in traffic mishaps, Daylight Saving Time is stated to increase life span of a country's citizens. Ditto prohibiting phone use while driving, of course (with a much clearer causal link). Phones threaten in other ways, too: scrollers strolling into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one threat too many, and so on. Over-use of tech diminishes our lives in another way as well-- incrementally and inevitably. It offers us a narrower existence in which we are less focussed, less rested and hence less awake. Over-use eats our lives, and it's ending up being the standard.
Time for a rethink?
Do you find that any place you go, you always wind up in the same location: in front of your smart device? Using it, or letting it utilize you, to remain 'connected'? Gotten in touch with exactly what people are up to back house. Linked with the latest news reports. Gotten in touch with work. Linked with games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Gotten in touch with pictures from the last vacation you took, and the one prior to that. What kind of 'connection' is that, truly? This scenario is something that's approached on us, and maybe it's time to start making some decisions ...
A vacation is an opportunity to change off, to experience new things. If we don't also switch off our devices, if we continue to outsource our consciousness to image sensors and memory cards, if we're still attached to what we were doing before we left and what we'll be doing when we get back, it's as if we're paying a kind of holiday tax. Part of the experience is deducted-- and not to assist the local economy, but to help line the pockets of shareholders of social media companies.
Imagine a classic travelogue like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, minus this tax. There wouldn't be much. As well as if we're trying to find something a bit less extreme for our fortnight away, the concept still uses. Whether it's a case of pings on the beach, or livestreaming from the Louvre, something's acquired but something's lost. And on the subject of getting lost, yes, without a smartphone it could take place. And possibly you'll wind up somewhere that turns out to be the highlight of your journey. Possibly you'll discover some intriguing restaurant that isn't really on tripadvisor.com. You may wind up talking with some residents. Absolutely nothing ventured, absolutely nothing got. This ties in with the growing slow travelmovement, and the recovering of overland travel as a mainstream and sensible alternative to flying, demonstrated by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's everything about existing.
If we do decide to have a holiday that doesn't focus on processing big data, there are a few options. We can go to the other severe, and leave house without any kind of phone or tablet. (That never ever used to be a severe, but we live in severe times.) And we have options like altering our device's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe throughout the day, and so on
. Or we can take a different phone. One that just does calls and texts. And then immerse ourselves in a various culture, have some adventures, or merely delight in a bit of peace and quiet.
The physical act of swapping phones goes deep. It's a bit like flying the nest. And it's beginning to gain in popularity: whether a low-cost, old-tech design or something more stylish and current, opting to in some cases utilize an easy phone is something that everyone can associate with nowadays. They may not do it themselves, however they certainly understand why some individuals do.
There are useful benefits, too. Just having to charge your phone sometimes is popular with everybody but if you're going someplace without mains electricity, your greedy mobile phone will be no usage at all. Also, with an easy phone you do not have to keep inspecting that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly found some way of running up monster-sized information roaming charges-- it can still take place. However it's the 'actually being there' that truly counts. Sure, travelling without a mobile phone will suggest a couple of mix-ups, a decreased capability to plan, to know ahead of time what's going to occur. However taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on basic phones are frequently navigate here much harder than the big areas of glass found on their more complex cousins. Changing a broken smart device screen is an inconvenience at the very best of times; increase that by 10 if you're abroad.
However it's the 'in fact existing' that actually counts. Sure, taking a trip without a smart device will suggest a couple of mix-ups, a lowered capability to strategy, to understand beforehand exactly what's going to occur. But travelling sans algorithms is where the action is.