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(and the Simple Tricks to STOP IT)
Why People Check
Their Tech at the
Wrong Times
“We expect more
from technology
and less from
each other.”
- Sherry Turkle
Director of the MIT Initiative
on Technology and Self
vs
Chances are
you’ve
experienced the
following:
You’re with a small group of
friends at a nice restaurant.
Everyone is enjoying the
food and conversation.
Then someone decides to
take out her phone…
Not for an urgent call…
Not for an urgent call… but to check
email, Twitter, and Facebook.
The Disease that is
Indiscriminate
Gadget Use
Doing nothing in the
face of indiscriminate
gadget use is
no longer O.K.
Staying silent about
bad technology habits
is making things worse
for all of us.
Paul Graham coined the term
“Social Antibodies”:
defenses against new
harmful behaviors
He uses the
example of
cigarette
smoking.
Smoking in public became taboo
over the span of just one generation
after social conventions changed.
The remedy to screen
indiscretion may be developing
new norms that make it
socially undesirable
to check one’s phone in the
company of others.
Keep in mind:
Tech makers design
these products using the
same psychology that
makes slot machines
addictive.
If we don’t build social
antibodies, the disease of
distraction will become
the new normal.
But how do we develop and
spread social antibodies to
inoculate ourselves against
bad mobile manners?
At Work:
Mandate a
“no-screen meeting”
At corporate meetings,
someone (typically the highest-
paid person in the room) starts
using his or her personal
technology.
This sends a message to
everyone in the room
that gadget time is
more important
than their time.
This also prevents the person
using the device from
participating in the discussion,
which means the meeting
wasn’t worth having
in the first place.
Workshops and discussions
declared device-free are by far
more productive.
Setting
expectations
up front
is equivalent to
administering a
distraction
vaccine.
Among Friends:
Snap the offender out
of the phone zone
Give your friend two options:
excuse
himself to
attend to
whatever
crisis is
happening
Give your friend two options:
excuse
himself to
attend to
whatever
crisis is
happening
Give your friend two options:
put away the
tech and go
back to the
conversation
or
How?
Ask a question:
Pull him back to the
conversation while
sending a clear message.
Then say,
“Oh, sorry,
were you on
your phone?
Is everything
O.K.?”
More often than not, your
friend will tuck his phone
back into his pocket and start
enjoying the company.
Let’s Do
Something
Set limits.
Don’t resign
yourself to
being ignored.
The idea is not to
disavow technology
completely, but to
encourage people
to appreciate its
power, and to
be aware when
its power over them
is becoming a
problem.
Technology
should serve us
— we should
not serve it.
Subscribe and
receive the
OFFICIAL
WORKBOOK
for Hooked:
How to Build
Habit-Forming
Products.
Subscribe and
receive the
OFFICIAL
WORKBOOK
for Hooked:
How to Build
Habit-Forming
Products.
Click to
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Why People Check Their Tech at the Wrong Times (and the Simple Trick to Stop It)