“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” - Steven Spielberg
Smartphones, a savior and a curse. In current era, every one has some kind of smart devices like smartphone or smart watch or some other smart thing that will suck you out of the reality into the virtual world. Smart devices are extremely powerful thing what can either help us grow and benefit us or will allow to decay and harm us. How we use our smart phone determines whether a device will help or destroy us.
Smartphones are every where with us capturing every moment we would like to and other we would like to avoid (Facebook???). They hold all our intimate memories and personal data, because of this we have become more and more addicted to smartphones. Some of us have become slave to our smartphone.
Why are we addicted to gadgets so much?
Most of the people are addicted to smartphones nowadays. Whose fault is it? As much as it users fault for not controlling the usage time, the apps are designed to keep us hooked and use frequently. From attractive graphics, to those pleasing notification sound and in app rewards, the make us visit the app frequently. Some of the reasons why we are stuck in those app for a period longer than we initially planned to are
1. Infinite Content / Scrolling
If you have used social media application you know the pain of not being able to get out of it. The never-ending content on social media apps like Facebook, twitter is like a slot machine. You know you have had enough but you want to keep on going since you feel you might miss something.
2. Reward System
One “dark pattern”, as UX designers call these subtle methods of manipulation, is based on a psychological concept called variable rewards. In case of social media site reward can be the likes and comments you get on your post or tweets. You also get some notification about you missing some content which will eventually make you open the application.
3. Auto play Forever
Ever wonder why you are watching certain YouTube video when all you wanted to watch was a one video you needed for your assignment, project and end up some where else. Features like auto play in YouTube and story mode in Facebook and Instagram stories keep us hooked in to the never-ending twirl of virtual content which you seemingly can’t escape.
4. Eye-catching Graphics
Nowadays every application has some sort of feature that will let you know the content you have missed. Those bright color will hunt you until you open those and before you know you are stuck in the same virtual world.
Stuffs like these sometimes make us addicted to the smartphones and other smart device with knowing how much time we have spent. It can cause a serious harm in our relationship, so we need to reduce the screen time and limit the usage. Keep phone on airplane work or silent (no vibrate) when on work. Try turning down the color to black and white while reading the articles so you don’t get caught up by the flashy graphics and color.
NOW BACK TO WORK
- Aatish Sai