Smartphones Should Enhance Our Lives, Not Take Over Them

“Imagine a future where technology is built on our values, not our screen time”


Have you ever caught yourself drowning in a pool of posts and likes? Or does it seem like you’re constantly checking the number of comments and likes your post gets? Is creating a witty caption for your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts part of your daily tasks?

Oh admit it, we’ve all been in that zone at least once!

To prove this, a study was conducted for Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that dedicates their time “helping individuals and policymakers traverse the ever-changing landscape of modern technology”. The study showed that 50 percent of teens felt that they were addicted to their phones. Also, 59 percent of parent said that they felt that their child suffers from phone addiction.

“Imagine a future where technology is built on our values, not our screen time”

Source: YouTube, Max Stossel

According to Time, Dr. David Greenfield, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction said “Only a small percentage of people qualify as addicted, but many people overuse their smartphones.”

There is a fine line between addiction and overuse, but according to Dr. Greenfield, if you can’t stop using your phone even if it’s already harming your life, you’re moving into the addiction territory. “If you can’t help being on it even when you know you shouldn’t be, that loss of control is the hallmark of an addiction,” he said.

You may think that the solution is as easy as putting down your phone. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Actually, many companies—especially social media—including many platforms are designed to keep us stuck on our gadgets, steal our attention, and keep us there. These platforms were designed on the metrics of “what grabs your attention?” What we ultimately need right now are technologies created to enhance our lives not take over them.

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Time Well Spent Movement

The Time Well Spent Movement was created to “align technology with our humanity”. According to the website, there are two kind of companies, “There are Attention companies like Facebook, Snapchat or Netflix that need to maximize attention to make money, and Platform companies like Apple and Google that make the devices that sit between our mind and the apps and websites who want our attention. Platform companies, like urban planners, design the balance between what people need and what businesses need. And Apple and Google can design our devices to better defend the freedom of our minds.”

Time Well Spent has gathered different people behind different technologies. These include technologists, Google employees, as well as engineers of the devices that dominate our lives. They are working together to find out how we can best build out technologies.

Time Well Spent is trying to create an ecosystem wherein the incentives of people and companies are aligned so that technology will be able to bring out the best in us. They are about creating a place where technology will not be locking our attentions in but a place where technology will help us live by our values.

This movement is still starting, but what they are doing will ultimately change the way we will see and use our gadgets in the future.

Article Sources:

Time

Futurism

Time Well Spent

 

Cielo Santos

Engineer. Writer. Artist. Gamer. Musician. She dreams of building a time machine and help kittens take over the world. Is secretly the pink power ranger in real life.

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Smartphones Should Enhance Our Lives, Not Take Over Them

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