Punkt. is a relatively little, dynamic and independent company, and we prefer to preserve close connections with our clients and with individuals and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we regularly run 'Punkt.Challenges'. These consist of design challenges that form part of postgraduate style courses, and digital detox difficulties where self-confessed smartphone addicts are welcomed to revisit their relationship with technology.
10 years ago, smart devices were still very uncommon. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the mobile phone is uncommon. 10 years earlier, many people had mobile phones, however they would typically 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 a lot more automated: the new regular is to scamper around within a ceaseless assault of status updates, push alerts and a great deal more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running since 2016. The unfavorable aspects of smart devices weren't extensively discussed at that point, however there has actually because been a surge of interest in the subject. 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 addiction and the value of top quality design in the real (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The huge difference this time round was that the term 'smart device dependency' had plainly gone into common parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, but in 2018 individuals were beginning to sound genuinely worried. You can read the reports below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the numerous applications we got:
" The continuous 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 utilize our phones a lot - why shouldn't they be beautiful in addition to functional?"
" I'm doing my own variation 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 frequently questioned some of the success requirements used in my industry, particularly 'engagement' as a metric for success. Till that changes, sadly it's very tough to fight against 100s of designers who are trying to hook you in to their products.  There is a specific paradox about this as I develop for these items however want to avoid 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, hopefully to influence a change in method to technology.".
" I have actually started getting rid of all my social networks profiles and have right away noticed the favorable result it's had on me. I am a lot calmer now, and I wish to keep it that way, by also eliminating my smartphone for good.".
Life is too brief to keep our heads down.
Innovation has significantly 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 duration of time. This Challenge modifications that in its totality, pressing us into understanding what is going on. I've always enjoyed utilizing the most recent things, however since 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 recognize how much you can compromise all these applications that keep you hooked all day: you do not need them.
In a way, you do become type of apart socially from your good friends-- let's state if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- however you begin to realize that it's for the better, and the Punkt. MP01 accomplishes just that. It teaches you simplicity and teaches you that you don't need everything on your phone. Just the fundamentals.
If you feel like you are hooked on your phone, like many people I have actually fulfilled, it might be a great time to offer this phone a shot. A number of my own relative experience this sensation and I feel like passing this obstacle on to others so they can get the hang of it. This Challenge has become so important in 2018 because-- as I stated-- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on are here to keep us hooked in for the longest time. Do not think me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will recognize that you don't even take notice of exactly what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it may be a great time to get that inspected out, and an excellent way to tackle it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we spend looking at screens, the less important daytime ends up being-- and in some cases, yes, more of a limitation. Whether you're inspecting your messages while walking to work, enjoying your smartphone with your good friends (who are each taking pleasure in theirs), or viewing a film, daytime is an inconvenience.
We started heading by doing this because we desired to. Nowadays-- to a big degree-- we simply do it due to the fact that we do it. And since others want us to do it.
Is this truly how you wish 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 broaden the debate on what innovation is doing to us and led to the production of the Center for Humane Technology. Ever since, the topic has actually exploded into the mainstream and it has actually become clear that it is refraining from doing good ideas to our basic sense of wellness.
The web page of the Center's website features a striking montage image. A generic graphic of a smartphone is integrated with a picture of a female. She is not presented as being on the screen. She is 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 appears happy, enjoying the view. And she is bathed in sunshine.
Perhaps it makes sense to utilize these brighter evenings for something other than taking a look at pixels? And when bedtime approaches, matching sundown with a digital sunset: everything turned off, leaving simply a land-line with a number known just to household and friends, and a devoted alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have actually ditched their smart devices totally, integrating a standard phone with a laptop computer or tablet (much much better for typing on). Nowadays these ideas might sound almost extreme, but as far as biology is worried, they're what your brain desires. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Because of the obvious reduction in traffic accidents, Daylight Saving Time is stated to increase life expectancy of a nation's citizens. Ditto prohibiting phone usage while driving, naturally (with a much clearer causal link). Phones threaten in other ways, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one threat a lot of, and so on. However over-use of tech diminishes our lives in another method too-- incrementally and inevitably. It gives us a narrower presence where we are less focussed, less rested and hence less awake. Over-use consumes our lives, and it's becoming the norm.
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? Using it, or letting it use you, to stay 'linked'? Linked with exactly what individuals depend on back house. Gotten in touch with the most recent news reports. Gotten in touch with work. Gotten in touch with video games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Gotten in touch with images from the last holiday you took, and the one before that. What sort of 'connection' is that, truly? This scenario is something that's approached on us, and maybe it's time to begin making some decisions ...
A vacation is an opportunity to turn off, to experience brand-new things. If we don't also change off our devices, if we continue to outsource our consciousness to image sensing units and memory cards, if we're still connected to exactly 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 subtracted-- and not to help the regional 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. As well as if we're trying to find something a bit less extreme for our fortnight away, the concept still uses. Whether it's a case of pings on the beach, or livestreaming from the Louvre, something's gained but something's lost. And on the subject of getting lost, yes, without a mobile phone it might take place. And possibly you'll end up someplace that ends up being the highlight of your trip. Perhaps you'll find some appealing restaurant that isn't on tripadvisor.com. You might wind up speaking with some locals. Nothing ventured, absolutely nothing gained. This connect the growing slow travelmovement, and the reclaiming of overland travel as a mainstream and realistic option to flying, shown by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's everything 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 house without any type of phone or tablet. (That never used to be an extreme, however we reside in extreme times.) And we have alternatives like changing our gadget's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe during the day, etc
. Or we can take a different phone. One that just does calls and texts. Then immerse ourselves in a various culture, have some experiences, or merely take pleasure in a bit of solitude.
The physical act of switching phones goes deep. It's a bit like flying the nest. And it's beginning to acquire in popularity: whether a cheap, website old-tech design or something more elegant and current, deciding to sometimes utilize a basic phone is something that everyone can relate to nowadays. They may not do it themselves, however they certainly understand why some individuals do.
There are practical advantages, too. Only 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 use at all. With a basic phone you don't need to keep checking that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly found some method of running up monster-sized data roaming charges-- it can still take place. But it's the 'really existing' that really counts. Sure, travelling without a smartphone will mean a couple of mix-ups, a decreased capability to plan, to know in advance exactly what's going to happen. Taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on simple phones are often much tougher than the big areas of glass found on their more complicated cousins. Replacing a broken mobile phone screen is a trouble at the best of times; multiply that by ten if you're abroad.
However it's the 'actually existing' that truly counts. Sure, taking a trip without a mobile phone will imply a few mix-ups, a decreased ability to strategy, to understand in advance what's going to take place. Travelling sans algorithms is where the action is.