It is sometimes easy to forget just how young digital really is. Adoption has been so rapid and innovation so frequent that we can easily think digital has always been here. For the younger generation this is sometimes the case but for the older generations we can remember a time before tablets and mobile phones. So this concept of ‘the digital detox’ was born. People look to retreat from technology as they feel overwhelmed and bombarded with information.
We talked about this trend just under a year ago when we were doing our proprietary study on the second phase of Future of Britain and since then we’ve seen it explode. I was prompted to write a piece about this topic when our Insight Director, Chris Worrell, shared the below tweet with me:
Look familiar? How many times have you been out with friends or in a meeting and you’ve noticed that everyone is heads down, eyes on phones, thumbs tapping or scrolling away? Yup, too many.
A new app has been released which I personally think is genius. The creators have noticed this trend of people being wary of their addiction and created an app that has your own personal guru to alert you when you’re using your phone too much with their own traffic light scoring system. Not only does it notify you with how long you’ve been on your phone but how many times you’ve unlocked it and how long you’ve spent in certain apps. They also have a gamified element that allows users to earn achievements if they complete certain digital detoxing tasks. I particularly like how you can see your score for every day of the week.
Below is a video titled ‘Look Up’. It is a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone.
Perhaps our addiction to technology needs to be taken as seriously as those addicted to harmful substances. Do we need the government to implement guidelines that tell us how long we can use these mobile devices a day and how many hours is too many? With no past data to compare to only time will tell the long-term effects of how much time we spend using technology.