Punkt. is a fairly small, vibrant and independent business, and we like to keep close connections with our consumers and with individuals 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, smart devices were still extremely unusual. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the smartphone is unusual. Ten years ago, the majority of people had smart phones, but they would usually 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 normal is to scamper around within a continuous onslaught of status updates, push notices and a whole lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running since 2016. The unfavorable aspects of smart devices weren't extensively gone over at that point, however there has actually given that been a surge of interest in the subject. Individual reports are an essential aspect of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and publishing these reports we aim to keep the discussion of people's relationship with technology prominent and on-going - both in terms of tech dependency and the significance of top quality design in the real (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The huge distinction this time round was that the term 'mobile phone addiction' had actually clearly gotten in common parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, however in 2018 individuals were beginning to sound genuinely stressed. You can read the reports listed below, however here are some excerpts from a few of the many applications we received:
" The constant scrolling."
" I tried it with an old traditional phone, it resembled returning to an ex - with all the old pros and cons. Who does that?"
" We use our phones a lot - why shouldn't they be gorgeous along with practical?"
" I'm doing my own version now, but I needed to settle for 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, particularly 'engagement' as a metric for success. Up until that changes, sadly it's extremely tough to eliminate versus 100s of designers who are aiming to hook you in to their products.  There is a certain paradox about this as I create for these products but wish to get away from them. I believe it's an opportunity for me as a designer to value how important our attention is, and try to take that lesson back into my industry, ideally to influence a modification in method to technology.".
" I have actually begun getting rid of all my social networks profiles and have right away seen the positive result it's had on me. I am so much calmer now, and I wish to keep it that method, by also eliminating my smart device for good.".
Life is too brief to keep our heads down.
Innovation has actually considerably altered 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 amount of time. This Challenge modifications that in its entirety, pushing us into understanding what is going on. I've constantly enjoyed using the newest things, but given that Punkt. has been around, I wanted to change that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's exactly what occurred. When you go from a continuously ringing smart device to a phone like this, you realize just how much you can sacrifice all these applications that keep you hooked all day: you don't require them.
In a way, you do become kind of separated socially from your buddies-- let's say if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- but you begin to realize that it's for the much better, and the Punkt. MP01 achieves simply that. It teaches you simpleness and teaches you that you don't need whatever on your phone. Simply the essentials.
If you seem like you are hooked on your phone, like the majority of individuals I have satisfied, it might be a great time to give this phone a try. A lot of my own household members experience this sensation and I feel like passing this challenge on to others so they can master it. This Challenge has ended up being so important in 2018 because-- as I said-- 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 realize that you do not even take notice of exactly what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it may be a great time to obtain that had a look at, and a great method to set about it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we invest looking at screens, the less important daylight ends up being-- and sometimes, yes, more of a hindrance. Whether you're inspecting your messages while walking to work, enjoying your smartphone with your pals (who are each taking pleasure in theirs), or watching a film, daylight is an inconvenience.
We started heading by doing this since we wished to. Nowadays-- to a large level-- we merely do it due to the fact that we do it. And due to the fact that others desire us to do it.
Is this truly how you want to spend your time in the world?
* * *.
In 2016, Google staff member Tristan Harris left his job 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 led to the creation of the Center for Humane Technology. Ever since, the subject has taken off into the mainstream and it has actually become clear that it is refraining from doing good ideas to our general sense of wellness.
The home page of the Center's website features a 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 reality 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, delighting in the view. And she is bathed in sunlight.
Possibly it makes sense to utilize these brighter nights for something aside from taking a look at Get More Info pixels? When bedtime approaches, matching sundown with a digital sunset: everything changed off, leaving simply a land-line with a number understood just to household and close good friends, and a devoted alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have ditched their smartphones entirely, combining a standard phone with a laptop or tablet (much better for typing on). Nowadays these ideas may sound almost extreme, however as far as biology is worried, they're exactly what your brain desires. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Since of the evident reduction in traffic mishaps, Daylight Saving Time is said to increase life expectancy of a nation's residents. Ditto banning phone use while driving, of course (with a much clearer causal link). Phones threaten in other ways, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one threat too lots of, etc. Over-use of tech diminishes our lives in another way as well-- incrementally and undoubtedly. It offers us a narrower existence where we are less focussed, less rested and thus less awake. Over-use eats our lives, and it's becoming the norm.
Time for a rethink?
Do you find that anywhere you go, you always end up in the very same place: in front of your smart device? Using it, or letting it utilize you, to remain 'linked'? Linked with what individuals depend on back home. Linked with the newest news reports. Gotten in touch with work. Gotten in touch with games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Gotten in touch with images from the last vacation you took, and the one prior to that. What sort of 'connection' is that, actually? This scenario is something that's approached on us, and perhaps it's time to start making some choices ...
A vacation is a possibility to switch off, to experience new things. If we don't likewise switch off our gadgets, if we continue to outsource our awareness to image sensors and memory cards, if we're still attached to exactly what we were doing prior to we left and what we'll be doing when we get back, it's as if we're paying a kind of vacation tax. Part of the experience is deducted-- and not to help the local economy, but to assist line the pockets of investors of social media business.
Picture a classic travelogue like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, minus this tax. There would not be much. And even if we're trying to find 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 smart device it might happen. And perhaps you'll wind up someplace that turns out to be the highlight of your journey. Maybe you'll find some interesting dining establishment that isn't really on tripadvisor.com. You might end up talking with some locals. Nothing ventured, absolutely nothing got. This ties in with the growing slow travelmovement, and the reclaiming of overland travel as a mainstream and practical option to flying, shown by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's all about being there.
If we do decide to have a holiday that doesn't revolve around processing big data, there are a few alternatives. We can go to the other extreme, and leave home without any kind of phone or tablet. (That never ever utilized to be a severe, however we reside in extreme times.) And we have choices like changing our device's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe during the day, etc
. Or we can take a different phone. One that only does calls and texts. Then immerse ourselves in a various culture, have some adventures, or just take pleasure in a little 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 acquire in popularity: whether a low-cost, old-tech model or something more elegant and updated, opting to often use an easy phone is something that everyone can relate to nowadays. They may refrain from doing it themselves, but they definitely know why some people do.
There are useful benefits, too. Only needing to charge your phone occasionally is popular with everybody however if you're going somewhere without mains electricity, your greedy smart device 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 method of running up monster-sized information roaming charges-- it can still happen. However it's the 'actually being there' that truly counts. Sure, travelling without a mobile phone will suggest a few mix-ups, a reduced ability to plan, to know beforehand exactly what's going to take place. Taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on easy phones are frequently much tougher than the large locations of glass found on their more complicated cousins. Replacing a broken smartphone screen is a trouble at the very best of times; increase that by 10 if you're abroad.
But it's the 'actually being there' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a mobile phone will mean a couple of mix-ups, a decreased capability to plan, to understand in advance what's going to take place. Travelling sans algorithms is where the action is.