Punkt. is a fairly little, dynamic and independent company, and we like 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 obstacles that form part of postgraduate design courses, and digital detox obstacles where self-confessed mobile phone addicts are invited to review their relationship with technology.
10 years ago, mobile phones were still very uncommon. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the smart device is uncommon. 10 years earlier, many people had cellphones, but they would generally just attract our attention if another human had actually decided to call us or send us a text. Now that many people's lives are so much more automated: the brand-new regular is to scurry around within a nonstop attack of status updates, push notifications and a whole lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have been running considering that 2016. The negative aspects of mobile phones weren't extensively discussed at that point, but there has actually since been a surge of interest in the topic. Individual reports are a crucial element of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and publishing these reports we intend to keep the conversation of people's relationship with technology prominent and on-going - both in regards to tech dependency and the value of high-quality design in the real (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The big difference 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 really fretted. You can read the reports below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the numerous applications we received:
" The continuous scrolling."
" I tried it with an old classic phone, it resembled returning to an ex - with all the old pros and cons. Who does that?"
" We utilize our phones a lot - why shouldn't they be beautiful in addition to functional?"
" I'm doing my own version now, but I had to go for a broke ass burner phone that's 10 years old ...".
" As a UI designer for digital products I've often questioned a few of the success requirements utilized in my market, specifically 'engagement' as a metric for success. Up until that changes, unfortunately it's really tough to combat against 100s of designers who are attempting to hook you into their items.  There is a specific irony about this as I design for these items however wish to get away from them. I believe it's an opportunity for me as a designer to appreciate how important our attention is, and try to take that lesson back into my industry, ideally to influence a modification in method to innovation.".
" I have actually started eliminating all my social media profiles and have actually instantly discovered the favorable effect it's had on me. I am so much calmer now, and I wish to keep it that method, by likewise eliminating my smartphone for great.".
Life is too short to keep our heads down.
Technology has actually drastically changed over the last century, from being a handy tool in our lives to keeping us as connected in as much as it can and for the longest time period. This Challenge modifications that in its whole, pressing us into understanding what is going on. I've always enjoyed using the latest things, but considering that Punkt. has been around, I wished to alter that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's precisely what occurred. When you go from a continuously buzzing smartphone to a phone like this, you understand how much you can compromise all these applications that keep you hooked all day: you don't need them.
In such a way, you do end up being type of apart socially from your buddies-- let's state if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- however you start to understand that it's for the better, and the Punkt. MP01 accomplishes simply that. It teaches you simpleness and teaches you that you do not require whatever on your phone. Just the fundamentals.
If you seem like you are hooked on your phone, like many people I have satisfied, it might be a great time to give this phone a try. A number of my own member of the family experience this feeling 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 stated-- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on are here to keep us hooked in for the longest time. Don't think me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will understand that you don't even focus on exactly what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it may be a great time to get that checked out, and a good way to go about it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we spend looking at screens, the less important daytime ends up being-- and often, yes, more of an obstacle. Whether you're inspecting your messages while walking to work, enjoying your mobile phone with your pals (who are each delighting in theirs), or enjoying a movie, daylight is an inconvenience.
We started heading this way since we wished to. Nowadays-- to a large extent-- we just do it since we do it. And since others want us to do it.
Is this actually how you desire to spend your time on Earth?
* * *.
In 2016, Google staff member Tristan Harris left his task to found a brand-new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which sought to expand the dispute on exactly what technology is doing to us and caused the production of the Center for Humane Technology. Ever since, the topic has actually exploded into the mainstream and it has actually ended up being clear that it is not doing advantages to our basic 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 female. 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, enjoying the view. And she is bathed in sunlight.
Possibly it makes sense to utilize these brighter evenings for something aside from looking at pixels? When bedtime techniques, matching sundown with a digital sunset: whatever switched off, leaving simply a land-line with a number known just to family and close buddies, and a devoted alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have dropped their mobile phones completely, combining a standard phone with a laptop computer or tablet (much better for typing on). Nowadays these concepts may sound nearly extreme, but as far as biology is worried, they're exactly what your brain desires. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Due to the fact that of the obvious reduction in traffic accidents, Daylight Saving Time is stated to increase life expectancy of a nation's residents. Ditto prohibiting phone use while driving, obviously (with a much clearer causal link). Phones threaten in other ways, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one risk a lot of, and so on. But over-use of tech shrinks our lives in another method as well-- incrementally and undoubtedly. It offers us a narrower existence in which we are less focussed, less rested and therefore less awake. Over-use consumes our lives, and it's ending up being the norm.
Time for a rethink?
Do you find that anywhere you go, you constantly wind up in the same place: in front of your smartphone? Using it, or letting it use you, to remain 'linked'? Connected with what individuals are up to back home. Linked with the most current report. Connected with work. Connected with games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Connected with pictures from the last holiday you took, and the one prior to that. What sort of 'connection' is that, really? This circumstance is something that's sneaked up on us, and possibly it's time to begin making some choices ...
A vacation is a chance to turn off, to experience brand-new things. If we do not also switch off our devices, if we continue to outsource our consciousness to image sensing units and memory cards, if we're still attached to what we were doing prior to 7 day smartphone detox 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 regional economy, however to assist line the pockets of investors of social networks business.
Think of 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 acquired but something's lost. And on the topic of getting lost, yes, without a smartphone it might take place. And possibly you'll wind up somewhere that turns out to be the highlight of your trip. Perhaps you'll discover some interesting dining establishment that isn't really on tripadvisor.com. You might wind up speaking to some locals. Nothing ventured, absolutely nothing got. This connect the growing sluggish travelmovement, and the reclaiming of overland travel as a mainstream and sensible alternative to flying, shown by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's all about being there.
If we do choose to have a vacation that does not revolve around processing huge data, there are a few options. We can go to the other extreme, and leave home with no type of phone or tablet. (That never utilized to be an extreme, but we live in severe times.) And we have options like changing our gadget's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe during the day, and so on
. Or we can take a various phone. One that just does calls and texts. Then immerse ourselves in a various culture, have some adventures, or merely delight in a bit of peace and peaceful.
The physical act of swapping phones goes deep. It's a bit like flying the nest. And it's beginning to acquire in popularity: whether a low-cost, old-tech design or something more stylish and current, opting to sometimes utilize a simple phone is something that everybody can relate to nowadays. They might not do it themselves, however they definitely know why some individuals do.
There are practical advantages, too. Just having to charge your phone occasionally is popular with everybody 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 don't need to keep examining that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly discovered some method of adding monster-sized data roaming charges-- it can still take place. It's the 'actually being there' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a smartphone will imply a couple of mix-ups, a lowered capability to plan, to know ahead of time what's going to happen. However travelling sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on easy phones are frequently much harder than the big areas of glass discovered on their more complex cousins. Changing a damaged smart device screen is a hassle at the very best of times; multiply that by ten if you're abroad.
It's the 'really being there' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a mobile phone will suggest a couple of mix-ups, a lowered capability to plan, to know beforehand exactly what's going to occur. Travelling sans algorithms is where the action is.