Via LinkedIn I found a share by @andrewmurraydunn (Thanks, Andrew) to a Wall-Street Journal article about Apple’s new Screen Time app that is integrated in iOS 12. Reading the comments of the WSJ article I came upon some terminology being used to indicate those highly addictive people that are constantly absorbed in their smartphone. The term was:
“A person who gives preference to their smartphone and social media, even in social settings and in the company of others, which results in the person ‘not really being there’, like a zombie.” (my definition)
Idea: Introducing new terminology to affect cultural change
The comments used the word ‘Phone zombie’ casually, like it was a familiar, well-accepted slang word already. It seemed to me a highly effective way to make a person aware of their bad habits. Nobody wants to be called a ‘phone zombie’ by their friends. Using it deliberately can be a powerful tool to make people aware of their bad tech habits.
And it gave me the idea to use language strategically to change the culture and habits surrounding smartphone and social media use in positive ways. Language is power, after all. Culture drives behavior.
Idea: Change language -> Affect culture -> Drive behavior
The Humane Tech Social Consciousness Project
Changing language, by deliberately brainstorming terminology and injecting it into our daily conversations, is an activity that could be part of a larger CHT project with the goal of: Influencing social consciousness with regards to technology use. In other words: ‘Weaponize’ language to induce positive change.
“The collective self-awareness and experience of collectively shared social identity […] and conscious awareness of being part of an interrelated community of others, [through which] individuals may experience social unity.” (source: Wikipedia)
Activities regarding language:
- Defining vocabulary, related imagery and meme’s that are likely to stick in popular culture
- Determine ways to inject them into the conversation (e.g. social media strategy)
- Actively use and promote them in our day-to-day (online) communication
As an example of related imagery the artwork created by @micheleminno depict a great meme that can stick with the public: