Punkt. is a fairly little, vibrant and independent business, and we like to maintain close connections with our customers and with people and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we regularly run 'Punkt.Challenges'. These include design obstacles that form part of postgraduate style courses, and digital detox challenges where self-confessed smartphone addicts are invited to revisit their relationship with innovation.
10 years ago, smart devices were still really unusual. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the smartphone is unusual. 10 years back, the majority of individuals had mobile phones, but they would generally just attract our attention if another person had decided to call us or send us a text. Now that the majority of people's lives are a lot more automated: the brand-new typical is to scamper around within a continuous onslaught of status updates, push notifications and a whole lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running considering that 2016. The negative aspects of mobile phones weren't extensively gone over at that point, however there has actually because been a rise of interest in the subject. 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 people's relationship with technology popular and on-going - both in terms of tech addiction and the value of high-quality design in the genuine (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The big difference this time round was that the term 'smart device dependency' had plainly gone into typical parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, but in 2018 individuals were beginning to sound truly stressed. You can read the reports below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the many applications we got:
" The consistent scrolling."
" I tried it with an old timeless phone, it was like going back to an ex - with all the old pros and cons. Who does that?"
" We use our phones a lot - why shouldn't they be stunning along with functional?"
" I'm doing my own version 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 frequently questioned some of the success criteria used in my industry, particularly 'engagement' as a metric for success. Up until that modifications, regrettably it's really difficult to combat versus 100s of designers who are aiming to hook you into their items.  There is a certain paradox about this as I design for these items however desire to avoid them. However I believe it's a chance for me as a designer to value how important our attention is, and try to take that lesson back into my industry, hopefully to influence a change in approach to technology.".
" I have actually started getting rid of all my social media profiles and have instantly observed the positive effect it's had on me. I am a lot calmer now, and I want to keep it that way, by likewise removing my mobile phone for excellent.".
Life is too short to keep our heads down.
Innovation has drastically changed over the last century, from being a valuable tool in our lives to keeping us as hooked in as much as it can and for the longest time period. This Challenge changes that in its entirety, pressing us into recognizing what is going on. I've constantly enjoyed using the newest things, however because Punkt. has been around, I wished to change that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's precisely what occurred. When you go from a constantly ringing mobile phone to a phone like this, you realize what does it cost? you can compromise all these applications that keep you hooked all day long: you don't require them.
In a method, you do end up being sort of separated socially from your friends-- let's state if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- however you begin to understand that it's for the 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 essentials.
If you seem like you are hooked on your phone, like many people I have actually met, it might be a great time to provide this phone a shot. A lot of my own relative experience this sensation and I feel like passing this difficulty on to others so they can master it. This Challenge has become so essential in 2018 because-- as I said-- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on are here to keep us hooked in for the longest time. Do not believe me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will understand that you do not even focus on exactly what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it might be a great time to obtain that examined out, and a good way to tackle it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we spend taking a look at screens, the less crucial daylight becomes-- and sometimes, 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 delighting in theirs), or enjoying a film, daylight is a hassle.
We started heading by doing this since we wanted to. Nowadays-- to a large degree-- we just do it since we do it. And due to the fact that others desire us to do it.
Is this actually how you desire to invest your time in the world?
* * *.
In 2016, Google staff member Tristan Harris left his task to discovered a brand-new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which looked for to expand the argument on what technology is doing to us and caused the production of the Center for Humane Technology. Since then, the subject has exploded into the mainstream and it has ended up being clear that it is refraining from doing excellent things to our basic sense of wellness.
The home page of the Center's website features a this company striking montage image. A generic graphic of a mobile phone is combined with a photograph of a female. She is not presented as being on the screen. She remains in truth looking out from the phone, leaning with her arms folded on the bottom edge of the screen as though it were a windowsill. She seems happy, enjoying the view. And she is bathed in sunshine.
Perhaps it makes sense to use these brighter nights for something besides looking at pixels? When bedtime techniques, matching sundown with a digital sunset: everything turned off, leaving just a land-line with a number known just to family and friends, and a dedicated alarm clock.
Joining those who have actually dropped their mobile phones completely, integrating a standard phone with a laptop computer or tablet (much much better for typing on). Nowadays these concepts may sound practically extreme, however as far as biology is worried, they're what your brain wants. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Because of the evident reduction in traffic accidents, Daylight Saving Time is said to increase life span of a nation's citizens. Ditto banning phone use while driving, naturally (with a much clearer causal link). Phones are unsafe in other ways, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one threat too many, and so on. But over-use of tech diminishes our lives in another method 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 anywhere you go, you always wind up in the very same location: in front of your mobile phone? Utilizing it, or letting it use you, to stay 'linked'? Gotten in touch with what people depend on back home. Gotten in touch with the most recent report. Gotten in touch with work. Connected with games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Gotten in touch with photos from the last vacation you took, and the one prior to that. What sort of 'connection' is that, truly? This scenario is something that's approached on us, and maybe it's time to start making some choices ...
A vacation is a chance to change off, to experience brand-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 business.
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 applies. Whether it's a case of pings on the beach, or livestreaming from the Louvre, something's gained however something's lost. And on the subject of getting lost, yes, without a mobile phone it could occur. And perhaps you'll wind up somewhere that turns out to be the highlight of your trip. Possibly you'll discover some interesting dining establishment that isn't really on tripadvisor.com. You might end up speaking with some residents. Nothing ventured, absolutely nothing acquired. This ties in with the growing slow travelmovement, and the reclaiming of overland travel as a mainstream and sensible option to flying, shown by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's all about existing.
If we do choose to have a holiday that does not revolve around processing big information, there are a few alternatives. 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 reside in severe times.) And we have options like changing 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 after that immerse ourselves in a different culture, have some adventures, or just delight in a little bit of peace and quiet.
The physical act of switching phones goes deep. It's a bit like flying the nest. And it's beginning to get in popularity: whether a low-cost, old-tech model or something more stylish and current, opting to often use a basic phone is something that everyone can connect to nowadays. They might not do it themselves, however they definitely understand why some people do.
There are practical benefits, too. Just having to charge your phone sometimes is popular with everyone but if you're going somewhere without mains electrical energy, your greedy smartphone will be no usage at all. Also, with an easy phone you do not require to keep checking that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly discovered some way of running up monster-sized information roaming charges-- it can still occur. It's the 'really being there' that actually counts. Sure, taking a trip without a smart device will mean a few mix-ups, a minimized ability to strategy, to know beforehand exactly what's going to happen. However travelling sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on simple phones are typically much tougher than the big locations of glass found on their more complex cousins. Changing a broken smartphone screen is an inconvenience at the best of times; multiply that by ten if you're abroad.
It's the 'in fact being there' that really counts. Sure, travelling without a mobile phone will mean a couple of mix-ups, a decreased capability to strategy, to understand beforehand what's going to happen. Travelling sans algorithms is where the action is.