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Breaking News smartphones not sustainable  designed to  downgrade humans  | Breaking News

Smartphones Not Sustainable: Designed To 'Downgrade Humans'

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by: Amelia Heathman
smartphones not sustainable  designed to  downgrade humans  | Breaking News

What do you use your phone for the most? Is it checking emails, speaking to people on social media, watching YouTube? Regardless of how you use your device, many people are in agreement that they spend too much time glued to their phones. New research by Google has shown that 79 per cent of people in the UK want to find a better balance with their smartphone usage. 
Of the 3,000 British adults surveyed, nearly half (47 per cent) believe that their phone affects their work, saying they would be more efficient if they could master control over their device. Over a quarter, 27 per cent, said they would be more present in their relationships if they had better control. On top of that, one in five (23 per cent) said they think they would find more time to be creative in the kitchen if they spent less time on their phone. 

Smartphones causing human downgrading

Addiction to our smartphones is causing 'human downgrading'. The result of technology caught in a race to capture human attention, in this race to the bottom of the brain stem. Who can go lower into your outrage, your vanity, getting you addicted to attention from other people? 
The pull of our devices is too strong for us to overcome alone. That’s not because humans are necessarily weak, it’s more that the way things like social media have been designed is completely overwhelming. “The technology we’ve built is smart enough that it can manipulate its creators, the humans who theoretically should be in control. 

Phone use stats

Take Instagram, for example. The photo-sharing app has pulled on the self-esteem puppet strings of hundreds of millions of kids. And it’s just tugging those strings all the way to go left towards depression, self-harm, isolation. That is what Instagram inadvertently, not intended, has done. We are creating an unsustainable society while there is a strong need for a sustainable environment. This is at odds with reality.

Kids phone addiction

Time to prevent human downgrading

It's not all doom and gloom. Tech companies can approach designing their products in order to prevent tech’s addictive nature? 

  • Android users can set app time limits so as not to spend too long in one particular app
  • Google Pixel phone owners can use the Wind Down feature to reduce the screen's blue light before going to bed. Apple offers similar functions with its Screen Time feature in iOS 12. 

These settings work: Google’s research demonstrated that 78 per cent of people felt happier about their phone usage since using a digital wellbeing app. They reported finding more time to meditate, as well as improved sleep.

Screen time graphs are a step in the right direction, and that it’s good to see Apple and Google competing against one another to protect their users. For these features to have a lasting impact, though, the companies need to ensure they go beyond just a graph. 

We need to move the goal posts from who can provide the better, cool chart of how many hours you spend per day, to how do we completely reverse the human downgrading, the downgrading of attention spans, reverse the downgrading of critical thinking. 

There are a few simple things such as:

  • turning off all notifications except for when it involves another human, so calls and text messages
  • Removing apps from your home screen is another one. 

This forces you to make a conscious choice to open an app, rather than an unconscious choice. Just changing the relationship with your phone in the sense that make it not a consumption device, but really just a tool. The Centre for Humane Technology will be researching other ways that human-focused design can enforce this positive use of tech, instead of the negative. 
It may seem scary that our phones and social media profiles are controlling us in ways we can’t imagine. But now is the time to do something before it becomes too overwhelming. 

Time on a phone

Right now, our minds are inhabiting a Las Vegas-like digital environment. Adding a meditation app here or there is like making sure there’s a meditation store in Las Vegas, when your mind is still surrounded by Las Vegas.

So, let’s flip Las Vegas into the most human, habitable, rejuvenating urban space that we can possibly build. That’s the goal. 

Cover photo by: Barbara Provenzano / Unsplash

https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/society

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WhatsOrb Global Sustainability Exchange Information about sustainability is available on the internet but fragmented and scattered over many platforms. Most of these platforms are focused on certain categories and are not interactive. WhatsOrb connects all groups and categories on one platform where it is possible without intervention to connect and speed up the development of sustainable products and services WhatsOrb is the perfect solution for profit, non-profit, government, uni & research and individuals who are serious about improving worlds environment now and in the future. Your sustainability upload counts
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Smartphones Not Sustainable: Designed To 'Downgrade Humans'

What do you use your phone for the most? Is it checking emails, speaking to people on social media, watching YouTube? Regardless of how you use your device, many people are in agreement that they spend too much time glued to their phones. New research by Google has shown that 79 per cent of people in the UK want to find a better balance with their smartphone usage.  Of the 3,000 British adults surveyed, nearly half (47 per cent) believe that their phone affects their work, saying they would be more efficient if they could master control over their device. Over a quarter, 27 per cent, said they would be more present in their relationships if they had better control. On top of that, one in five (23 per cent) said they think they would find more time to be creative in the kitchen if they spent less time on their phone.  Smartphones causing human downgrading Addiction to our smartphones is causing 'human downgrading'. The result of technology caught in a race to capture human attention, in this race to the bottom of the brain stem. Who can go lower into your outrage, your vanity, getting you addicted to attention from other people?  The pull of our devices is too strong for us to overcome alone. That’s not because humans are necessarily weak, it’s more that the way things like social media have been designed is completely overwhelming. “The technology we’ve built is smart enough that it can manipulate its creators, the humans who theoretically should be in control.  Take Instagram, for example. The photo-sharing app has pulled on the self-esteem puppet strings of hundreds of millions of kids. And it’s just tugging those strings all the way to go left towards depression, self-harm, isolation. That is what Instagram inadvertently, not intended, has done. We are creating an unsustainable society w hile there is a strong need for a sustainable environment. This is at odds with reality. Time to prevent human downgrading It's not all doom and gloom. Tech companies can approach designing their products in order to prevent tech’s addictive nature?  Android users can set app time limits so as not to spend too long in one particular app Google Pixel phone owners can use the Wind Down feature to reduce the screen's blue light before going to bed. Apple offers similar functions with its Screen Time feature in iOS 12.  These settings work: Google’s research demonstrated that 78 per cent of people felt happier about their phone usage since using a digital wellbeing app. They reported finding more time to meditate, as well as improved sleep. Screen time graphs are a step in the right direction, and that it’s good to see Apple and Google competing against one another to protect their users. For these features to have a lasting impact, though, the companies need to ensure they go beyond just a graph.  {youtube} We need to move the goal posts from who can provide the better, cool chart of how many hours you spend per day, to how do we completely reverse the human downgrading , the downgrading of attention spans, reverse the downgrading of critical thinking.  There are a few simple things such as: turning off all notifications except for when it involves another human, so calls and text messages Removing apps from your home screen is another one.  This forces you to make a conscious choice to open an app, rather than an unconscious choice. Just changing the relationship with your phone in the sense that make it not a consumption device, but really just a tool. The Centre for Humane Technology will be researching other ways that human-focused design can enforce this positive use of tech, instead of the negative.  It may seem scary that our phones and social media profiles are controlling us in ways we can’t imagine. But now is the time to do something before it becomes too overwhelming.  Right now, our minds are inhabiting a Las Vegas-like digital environment . Adding a meditation app here or there is like making sure there’s a meditation store in Las Vegas, when your mind is still surrounded by Las Vegas. So, let’s flip Las Vegas into the most human, habitable, rejuvenating urban space that we can possibly build. That’s the goal.  Cover photo by: Barbara Provenzano / Unsplash https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/society