Punkt. is a fairly small, vibrant and independent business, and we prefer to keep close connections with our consumers and with people and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we regularly run 'Punkt.Challenges'. These include style challenges that form part of postgraduate style courses, and digital detox challenges where self-confessed smart device addicts are welcomed to revisit their relationship with technology.
10 years ago, smartphones were still extremely uncommon. Now, a life lived outside the structure of the mobile phone is uncommon. 10 years ago, the majority of people had cellphones, but they would typically just attract our attention if another human being had decided to call us or send us a text. Now that a lot of individuals's lives are so much more automated: the new typical is to scoot around within a continuous onslaught of status updates, push notices and a lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running since 2016. The negative aspects of smartphones weren't commonly discussed at that point, but there has actually given that been a rise of interest in the topic. Participant reports are a crucial element of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and releasing these reports we intend to keep the conversation of individuals's relationship with technology popular and on-going - both in regards to tech dependency and the value of premium design in the genuine (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The big difference this time round was that the term 'smartphone dependency' had clearly entered common parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, however in 2018 people were beginning to sound really worried. You can read the reports below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the lots of applications we received:
" The consistent scrolling."
" I attempted it with an old timeless phone, it was like 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 as well as practical?"
" 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 products I've typically questioned some of the success criteria utilized in my market, specifically 'engagement' as a metric for success. Till that changes, regrettably it's very tough to eliminate against 100s of designers who are attempting to hook you into their items.  There is a certain irony about this as I develop for these items however want to avoid them. I think 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 industry, hopefully to influence a modification in technique to innovation.".
" I have actually begun eliminating all my social networks profiles and have actually instantly observed the positive effect it's had on me. I am so much calmer now, and I 'd like to keep it that way, by also removing my smart device for excellent.".
Life is too brief to keep our heads down.
Technology has drastically altered over the last century, from being a helpful tool in our lives to keeping us as hooked in as much as it can and for the longest time period. This Challenge modifications that in its whole, pressing us into recognizing exactly what is going on. I've constantly liked utilizing the latest things, but because Punkt. has actually been around, I desired 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 do not require them.
In such a way, you do end up being type of apart socially from your pals-- let's state if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- but you begin to realize that it's for the much better, and the Punkt. MP01 accomplishes simply that. It teaches you simpleness and teaches you that you don't need everything on your phone. Just the basics.
If you feel like you are hooked on your phone, like many people I have satisfied, it might be a great time to offer this phone a shot. A number of my own family members experience this feeling and I feel like passing this obstacle on to others so they can get the hang of it. This Challenge has actually become so essential in 2018 because-- as I stated-- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. are here to keep us hooked in for the longest time. Do not think me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will understand that you don't even pay attention to what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it may be a good time to get that took a look at, and an excellent way to set about it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we spend looking at screens, the lesser daylight ends up being-- and in some cases, yes, more of an obstacle. Whether you're examining your messages while walking to work, enjoying your smartphone with your good friends (who are each enjoying theirs), or seeing a movie, daylight is a hassle.
We began heading by doing this due to the fact that we wished to. Nowadays-- to a large extent-- we just do it since we do it. And due to the fact that others desire us to do it.
Is this truly how you wish to invest your time on Earth?
* * *.
In 2016, Google employee Tristan Harris left his job to discovered a brand-new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which sought to broaden the argument on exactly what technology is doing to us and resulted in the production of the Center for Humane Technology. Ever since, the subject has actually taken off into the mainstream and it has actually ended up being clear that find this it is not doing great things to our general sense of well-being.
The web page of the Center's site includes a striking montage image. A generic graphic of a mobile phone is combined with a photograph 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 delighted, enjoying the view. And she is bathed in sunlight.
Perhaps it makes sense to utilize these brighter nights for something aside from taking a look at pixels? And when bedtime methods, matching sundown with a digital sunset: whatever switched off, leaving just a land-line with a number known just to household and friends, and a devoted alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have actually dropped their smart devices entirely, integrating a basic phone with a laptop computer or tablet (much better for typing on). Nowadays these concepts might sound practically radical, but as far as biology is worried, they're exactly what your brain wants. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Because of the apparent reduction in traffic mishaps, Daylight Saving Time is said to increase life span of a nation's citizens. Ditto prohibiting phone usage while driving, obviously (with a much clearer causal link). Phones are unsafe in other methods, too: scrollers strolling into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one threat a lot of, and so on. Over-use of tech shrinks our lives in another way as well-- incrementally and undoubtedly. It provides us a narrower existence where we are less focussed, less rested and hence less awake. Over-use eats our lives, and it's becoming the standard.
Time for a rethink?
Do you discover that wherever you go, you always wind up in the same place: in front of your smart device? Utilizing it, or letting it use you, to remain 'linked'? Gotten in touch with exactly what individuals are up to back home. Gotten in touch with the most recent news reports. Gotten in touch with work. Connected with video 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, really? This situation is something that's sneaked up on us, and maybe it's time to start making some decisions ...
A holiday is a chance to turn 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 connected 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 vacation tax. Part of the experience is deducted-- and not to help the local economy, however to assist line the pockets of investors of social networks business.
Envision a timeless travelogue like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, minus this tax. There would not be much left. And even 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 topic of getting lost, yes, without a smartphone it might occur. And maybe you'll end up somewhere that turns out to be the emphasize of your journey. Possibly you'll discover some interesting restaurant that isn't on tripadvisor.com. You might wind up talking to some residents. Absolutely nothing ventured, nothing got. This connect the growing slow travelmovement, and the recovering 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 decide to have a vacation that does not revolve around processing big information, there are a few alternatives. We can go to the other extreme, and leave home without any sort of phone or tablet. (That never utilized to be an extreme, but we reside in severe times.) And we have options like altering our gadget'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 experiences, or merely take pleasure in a little bit of solitude.
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 cheap, old-tech model or something more trendy and up-to-date, opting to in some cases utilize a basic phone is something that everyone can associate with nowadays. They may not do it themselves, however they definitely understand why some individuals do.
There are practical benefits, too. Just having to charge your phone occasionally is popular with everyone but if you're going somewhere without mains electrical energy, your greedy smart device will be no use at all. With an easy phone you don't require to keep examining that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly found some method of running up monster-sized data roaming charges-- it can still take place. It's the 'really being there' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a smartphone will mean a couple of mix-ups, a minimized ability to strategy, to understand ahead of time exactly what's going to occur. However taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on basic phones are often much harder than the large locations of glass found on their more complex cousins. Replacing a damaged mobile phone screen is a hassle at the very best of times; increase that by ten if you're abroad.
However 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 lowered ability to strategy, to understand beforehand what's going to occur. Taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is.