The REAL problem of Smartphone Addiction is much simpler. We need to STOP the SMART revolution

attention
health

#1

Why is everybody trying to solve a tech problem (Smartphone Addiction) by adding more technology? Do we really need another app (on our phone) to solve our addiction to these omnipresent devices? Perhaps we should note that the problem is that we use our smartphones for literally EVERYTHING: calls, texting, social media, reading the news, watching TV, listening to music, tracking workouts, writing notes, checking calendars, alarm-clock, purchasing clothes, food, anything; flirting / dating, taking a taxi, driving (GPS), checking the weather, meditation, catching a thief (home security), etc. The list is endless.

The paradox of our time is solving a tech problem by adding more technology.

What if the solution was simpler?

What if we can solve addictions by reducing our dependence to the substance (whether it’s tobacco, alcohol, food or smartphones) rather than focusing on measuring it?
Think about it. If you are a smoker, the best “realistic” way (cold turkey is not for everyone) is to remove the dependence of cigarettes with specific moments: breakfast with coffee, after a meal, while reading, with a drink, etc. In addition to this, developing habits that don’t require cigarettes work great. For instance, if you go for a run, it works because you CAN’T run and smoke at the same time.

What’s the real problem? Well, basically the fact that we do everything with and on our smartphones.
You can run with your phone. There is nothing you CAN’T do while using your smartphone. That’s the REAL problem. Every new product launched is pair to our phones (Smart Mug, Smart Security System, Smart, Smart Cigarette, Smart Clock, Smart Pen, Smart Key, etc.). We need to STOP the SMART revolution

So, how can we face smartphone addiction and become digitally healthier? Well, there are no magic tricks. You are going to need to define activities that your smartphone is not involved in.

Let me tell you one; Have a conversation in real life.

Let me tell you another one; anything, just don’t bring your phone with you.

I added 3-4 analogies in my latest Medium Post.


#2

This is smart.

I like where your head’s at.

This exact irony keeps me awake at night. Literally.

I don’t use a smartphone. I switched to flip phone. And yet my company just released an iOS app. That makes me feel hypocritical. But (and this is a big “but”) - we need to bring healthy options to the table. And the table isn’t proverbial - it’s the smartphone and the laptop.

#deletefacebook isn’t enough, although it is a start. We need new, better alternatives. The government won’t regulate them and of course we can’t expect Facebook to regulate itself. It’s on us to create the future we want to see.

Check out reallyread.it. I’d love your thoughts. Yeah - I’m building something that gets people staring at screens. But the longer/bigger idea is to move them from real reading on screens to books. :books:


#3

Hi Loundy.

Actually a Flip phone is totally on point as “dumb” (basic) Tech becomes the new Smart because it just serves the purpose of a phone and doesn’t hook you there 24h. You just use your phone to call and text, instead of calling, texting, warming a mug, checking your security cameras, doing Karaoke, etc.

Well, deeply reading is indeed a growing need against the “Read cool Headline, I share the article, I feel good” behavior.
Btw, I’ve been collaborating with another great person in Italy (Monica from Smartbreak.it)


#4

@JuanBagby. Thanks for this post- this is so true. This gets into the territory of smart phones are used for everything- so people have a “good” reason for being on their phones most of the time.

I think great thought should be made when creating apps-

Is this app necessary to function?

Does this app have adds or distractions/notifications?

Does this app make me pick my phone up at unexpected times?

Can the task at hand be done without an app?

Does this app displace my 3D social time with people- even in public with people I don’t know?

If I didn’t have this app- would it be necessary to talk to a live person?

Apps can be convenient but where and when will people connect. I seriously think people grope for social contact late at night on their phones because of lost personal contact during the day- people talking in elevators - grocery lines etc…


#6

While I understand your point of view, I don’t think this is a viable solution.
“Smart” technologies exist because they add value as instrument, and this value is so big and important that is not an option that we simply go back (and frankly, I think is fine this way).
Plus, in every addiction the problem is not really “how much” you do something, addiction is about an unhealthy “relationship” with something (a substance or an habit). We should help people building healthy relationships with smart technologies and use them only as an evoluted tool and avoiding any automatic and passive use.


#7

We need smart humans for smart technologies!

(we were told the other way around, that we needed smart technologies for smart humans).