Punkt. is a relatively little, vibrant and independent business, and we like to keep 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 difficulties that form part of postgraduate style courses, and digital detox difficulties where self-confessed smart device addicts are welcomed to revisit their relationship with technology.
Ten years ago, smart devices were still really unusual. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the smartphone is uncommon. 10 years earlier, many people had cellphones, however they would normally just attract our attention if another human being had actually chosen to call us or send us a text. Now that many people's lives are so much more automated: the new regular is to scurry around within a nonstop assault of status updates, push alerts and a great deal more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have actually been running given that 2016. The negative aspects of smartphones weren't widely gone over at that point, however there has actually given that been a surge of interest in the topic. Individual reports are an essential aspect of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and publishing these reports we aim to keep the conversation of people's relationship with technology prominent and on-going - both in regards to tech dependency and the significance of top quality design in the genuine (i.e. non-virtual) world.
The huge distinction this time round was that the term 'smartphone dependency' had actually clearly gotten in typical parlance - in 2016 it still sounded a bit over the top, but in 2018 people were beginning to sound genuinely stressed. You can read the reports listed below, but here are some excerpts from a few of the many applications we received:
" The constant scrolling."
" I tried it with an old timeless 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 practical?"
" I'm doing my own variation now, but I needed to choose a broke ass burner phone that's 10 years old ...".
" As a UI designer for digital items I've often questioned some of the success requirements used in my industry, particularly 'engagement' as a metric for success. Until that changes, regrettably it's really challenging to fight against 100s of designers who are attempting to hook you in to their products.  There is a certain irony about this as I design for these products but wish to get away from them. But I believe it's a chance for me as a designer to value how important our attention is, and attempt to take that lesson back into my market, ideally to influence a change in technique to innovation.".
" I have begun eliminating all my social media profiles and have actually instantly observed the favorable impact it's had on me. I am so much calmer now, and I wish to keep it that method, by likewise eliminating my smart device for great.".
Life is too brief to keep our heads down.
Innovation has actually significantly altered over the last century, from being a handy tool in our lives to keeping us as hooked in as much as it can and for the longest amount of time. This Challenge changes that in its totality, pushing us into realizing what is going on. I've constantly loved using the latest things, however because Punkt. has actually been around, I wanted to change that, and with the Digital Detox Challenge, that's precisely what took place. When you go from a constantly buzzing mobile phone to a phone like this, you recognize what does it cost? you can sacrifice all these applications that keep you hooked all day long: you do not require them.
In a manner, you do end up being sort of apart socially from your friends-- let's say if they "Snapchat" you or whatnot-- but you start to recognize that it's for the much better, and the Punkt. MP01 achieves just that. It teaches you simplicity and teaches you that you do not need everything on your phone. Just the fundamentals.
If you feel like you are hooked on your phone, like the majority of people I have met, it might be a great time to offer this phone a shot. Numerous of my own member of the family experience this sensation and I seem like passing this difficulty on to others so they can get the hang of it. This Challenge has ended up being so essential 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 believe me? Download QualityTime for your Android and you will realize that you do not even focus on what's going on around you. If you feel an itch, it might be an excellent time to get that had a look at, and a great way to set about it is with the Punkt. MP01.
The more time we invest taking a look at screens, the lesser daylight ends up being-- and sometimes, yes, more of a barrier. Whether you're inspecting your messages while strolling to work, enjoying your mobile phone with your pals (who are each enjoying theirs), or enjoying a movie, daytime is a hassle.
We started heading by doing this due to the fact that we wished to. Nowadays-- to a large degree-- we just do it since we do it. And due to the fact that others want us to do it.
Is this actually how you want to spend your time on Earth?
* * *.
In 2016, Google worker Tristan Harris left his job to found a new non-profit organisation called Time Well Spent, which sought to broaden the dispute on exactly what innovation is doing to us and caused the development of the Center for Humane Technology. Given that then, the subject has actually taken off into the mainstream and it has become clear that it is refraining from doing advantages to our general sense of wellness.
The home page of the Center's site features a striking montage image. A generic graphic of a smartphone is combined with a picture of a lady. She is not presented 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, enjoying the view. And she is bathed in sunshine.
Maybe it makes good sense to use these brighter nights for something besides looking at pixels? And when bedtime techniques, matching sundown with a digital sunset: whatever switched off, leaving just a land-line with a number known only to household and close pals, and a dedicated alarm clock.
Signing up with those who have ditched their smartphones entirely, integrating a standard phone with a laptop or tablet (much better for typing on). Nowadays these concepts may sound nearly radical, however as far as biology is concerned, they're exactly what your brain desires. The medical side-effects of tech over-use.
Due to the fact that of the apparent decrease in traffic accidents, Daylight Saving Time is stated 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 ways, too: scrollers walking into traffic, selfie trophy-hunters taking one risk a lot of, etc. Over-use of tech diminishes our lives in another method as well-- incrementally and inevitably. It provides 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 find that any place you go, you always wind up in the same location: in front of your smart device? Utilizing it, or letting it use you, to remain 'linked'? Gotten in touch with what people are up to back house. Gotten in touch with the newest news reports. Gotten in touch with work. Linked with games, YouTube videos, Wikipedia. Connected with images from the last holiday you took, and the one before that. What kind of 'connection' is that, truly? This circumstance is something that's approached on us, and possibly it's time to begin making some decisions ...
A vacation is a chance to turn off, to experience new things. If we do not also switch off our devices, if we continue to outsource our awareness to image sensors and memory cards, if we're still attached to what we were doing prior to we left and exactly 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 help the regional economy, but to assist line the pockets of investors of social media companies.
Envision a timeless travelogue like Jack Kerouac's On the Road, minus this tax. There wouldn't be much left. As well as 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 gotten but something's lost. And on the subject of getting lost, yes, without a smart device it might happen. And maybe you'll end up somewhere that turns out to be the highlight of your trip. Perhaps you'll discover some intriguing restaurant that isn't on tripadvisor.com. You may wind up talking to some residents. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. This ties in with the growing sluggish travelmovement, and the recovering of overland travel as a mainstream and sensible alternative to flying, demonstrated by the underground success of The Man in Seat Sixty-One. It's everything about existing.
If we do decide to have a holiday that doesn't focus on processing big information, there are a few alternatives. We can go to the other extreme, and leave house without any kind of phone or tablet. (That never utilized to be an extreme, however we live in extreme times.) And we have options like changing our device's settings to 'minimum', leaving it in the hotel safe during the day, etc
. Or we can take a various phone. One that only does calls and texts. And then immerse ourselves in a various culture, have some adventures, or just enjoy 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 get in popularity: whether a low-cost, old-tech model or something more stylish and current, deciding to sometimes use a basic phone is something that everybody can associate with nowadays. They might refrain from doing it themselves, but they certainly understand why some individuals do.
There are practical benefits, too. Only needing to charge your phone periodically is popular with everyone but if you're going somewhere without mains electricity, your greedy mobile phone will be no usage at all. Likewise, with a basic phone you do not need to keep checking that your digital factotum hasn't cunningly discovered some way of running up Source monster-sized data roaming charges-- it can still occur. It's the 'actually being there' that really counts. Sure, travelling without a smartphone will imply a few mix-ups, a decreased ability to strategy, to understand ahead of time what's going to happen. However taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is. And the screens on basic phones are typically much harder than the large locations of glass discovered on their more complicated cousins. Changing 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 existing' that really counts. Sure, travelling without a smart device will imply a couple of mix-ups, a minimized ability to strategy, to understand ahead of time exactly what's going to happen. Taking a trip sans algorithms is where the action is.