Punkt. is a fairly small, dynamic and independent business, and we want to maintain close connections with our clients and with people and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we routinely run 'Punkt.Challenges'. These consist of design challenges that form part of postgraduate style courses, and digital detox challenges where self-confessed smartphone addicts are welcomed to revisit their relationship with technology.
10 years earlier, mobile phones were still extremely unusual. Now, a life lived outside the structure of the smartphone is unusual. Ten years ago, many people had cellphones, but they would generally just attract our attention if another person had decided to call us or send us a text. Now that many people's lives are so much more automated: the brand-new typical is to scoot around within a nonstop onslaught of status updates, push notices and a whole lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running because 2016. The unfavorable aspects of smartphones weren't commonly talked about at that point, however there has actually given that been a rise of interest in the topic. Participant reports are an essential element of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and publishing these reports we intend to keep the conversation of individuals's relationship with innovation 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 addiction' had actually plainly entered typical parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, but in 2018 people were beginning to sound genuinely fretted. You can check out the reports 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 should not they be gorgeous in addition to practical?"
" I'm doing my own variation now, however I needed to choose a broke ass burner phone that's 10 years old ...".
" As a UI designer for digital products I've typically questioned a few of the success criteria utilized in my industry, specifically 'engagement' as a metric for success. Till that changes, regrettably it's really challenging to combat versus 100s of designers who are aiming to hook you in to their products.  There is a certain irony about this as I develop for these items however desire to escape them. I believe it's an opportunity for me as a designer to appreciate how valuable our attention is, and try to take that lesson back into my market, ideally to affect a modification in approach to technology.".
" I have begun getting rid of all my social networks profiles and have instantly noticed 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 mobile phone for good.".
Life is too short to keep our heads down.
Innovation has actually considerably changed 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 period of time. This Challenge changes that in its whole, pushing us into understanding exactly what is going on. I've always liked utilizing the latest things, however because Punkt. has been around, I desired to change that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's precisely what occurred. When you go from a constantly buzzing smartphone to a phone like this, you recognize how much 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 apart socially from your friends-- let's state if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- however you begin to understand that it's for the much better, and the Punkt. MP01 achieves just that. It teaches you simplicity and teaches you that you don't need whatever on your phone. Simply the basics.
If you seem like you are hooked on your phone, like the majority of people I have satisfied, it could be a great time to offer this phone a shot. A number of my own member of the family experience this feeling and I seem like passing this obstacle on to others so they can get the hang of it. This Challenge has ended up being so crucial 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 what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it might be a great time to obtain that had a look at, and a good way to go about 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 an obstacle. Whether you're checking your messages while walking to work, enjoying your smartphone with your good friends (who are each delighting in theirs), or viewing a film, daylight is an inconvenience.
We started heading in this manner since we wished to. Nowadays-- to a large level-- we just do it because we do it. And due to the fact that others desire us to do it.
Is this truly how you desire to spend your time in the world?
* * *.
In 2016, Google employee Tristan Harris left his job to found a brand-new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which looked for to expand the debate on exactly what technology is doing to us and resulted in the creation 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 general sense of wellness.
The home page of the Center's website includes a striking montage image. A generic graphic of a smart device is integrated with a photo of a lady. However she is not provided as being on the screen. She is 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 appears happy, delighting in the view. And she is bathed in sunshine.
Maybe it makes sense to use these brighter evenings for something besides looking at pixels? And when bedtime approaches, matching sundown with a digital sundown: whatever changed off, leaving simply a land-line with a number known only to family and buddies, and a devoted alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have actually ditched their mobile phones totally, integrating a standard phone with a laptop or tablet (much much better for typing on). Nowadays these concepts might sound almost extreme, however as far as biology is concerned, they're what your brain wants. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Because of the apparent decrease in traffic mishaps, Daylight Saving Time is said to increase life span of a nation's people. Ditto banning phone use while driving, naturally (with a much clearer causal link). Phones are unsafe in other methods, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one danger a lot of, etc. Over-use of tech shrinks our lives in another method as well-- incrementally and inevitably. It gives us a narrower presence in which we are less focussed, less rested and therefore less awake. Over-use eats our lives, and it's ending up being the norm.
Time for a rethink?
Do you discover that anywhere you go, you constantly end up in the very same location: in front of your smartphone? Using it, or letting it utilize you, to stay 'linked'? Connected with exactly what people are up to back house. Connected with the current report. Connected with work. Linked with video games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Gotten in touch with images from the last holiday you took, and the one prior to that. What kind of 'connection' is that, really? This scenario is something that's sneaked up on us, and perhaps it's time to begin making some choices ...
A holiday is a possibility to turn off, to experience new things. If we don't also switch off our devices, if we continue to outsource our awareness to image sensors and memory cards, if we're still attached to exactly 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 kind of vacation tax. Part of the experience is deducted-- and not to help the local economy, but to help line the pockets of investors 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 looking for 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 subject of getting lost, yes, without a mobile phone it could happen. And maybe you'll end up somewhere that turns out to be the highlight of your journey. Possibly you'll discover some intriguing dining establishment that isn't really on tripadvisor.com. You may end up speaking with some locals. Absolutely nothing ventured, absolutely nothing gained. This connect the growing slow travelmovement, and the recovering of overland travel as a mainstream and realistic alternative to flying, demonstrated by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's everything about being there.
If we do choose to have a vacation that does not focus on processing big information, there are a couple of options. We can go to the other extreme, and leave home without any kind of phone or tablet. (That never ever utilized to be an extreme, however we live in severe times.) And we have options like changing our device's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe during the day, and so on
. Or we can take a different phone. One that only does calls and texts. Then immerse ourselves in a different culture, have some adventures, or merely take pleasure in a little peace and peaceful.
The physical act of switching phones goes deep. It's a bit like flying a fantastic read the nest. And it's starting to acquire in appeal: whether an inexpensive, old-tech design or something more trendy and up-to-date, selecting to often use a simple phone is something that everyone can connect to nowadays. They may refrain from doing it themselves, but they definitely know why some individuals do.
There are practical advantages, too. Just having to charge your phone periodically is popular with everyone but if you're going someplace without mains electrical power, your greedy smart device will be no usage at all. With a simple phone you don't need to keep inspecting that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly discovered some way of running up monster-sized data roaming charges-- it can still occur. It's the 'in fact being there' 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. Travelling sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on basic phones are typically much harder than the big areas of glass discovered on their more complex cousins. Replacing a damaged smart device screen is a trouble at the very best of times; multiply that by 10 if you're abroad.
It's the 'really being there' that really counts. Sure, travelling without a smartphone will mean a couple of mix-ups, a lowered capability to plan, to understand ahead of time what's going to take place. Taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is.