More times than none, we let technology run its course unhindered, relishing it, believing it to be innocuous. It's only much later that the pitfalls come to light, and by then we've grown fully-accustomed to using them on a regular basis. Our current digital devices are no exception. In this mobile era, with smartphone serving as an extension of the human hand, we are always connected, constantly bombarded with information, and this is only a local maxima.
Smartphones serve to augment our productivity; they make us smarter and keep us constantly up-to-date. At the same time, however, smartphone use affects us in ways we would be wise not to ignore. A Stanford University survey on iPhone users among students showed that 75 percent admitted to falling asleep with their handhelds, and 69 percent said they were more likely to forget their wallet than their iPhones when leaving their home in the morning. This addiction is real.
We've all been there: while having coffee with friends, at the table with our families, or in bed with our loved ones – we can't help noticing that some or all are looking at their handhelds.
For this reason, a few months back, I came up with "UNDIGITIZE.ME" - a social venture that aims to reshape our relationship with the Smartphone. This project has three major objectives - (1) raising awareness to smartphone addiction and the ways by which it affects our lives; (2) calling on developers to create less addictive applications; and thirdly, bring people together and have them come up with ways of dealing with this addiction.
The first move was actually a viral campaign we've whimsically titled “Phone Faced Down”, that seeks to alter some of our more deleterious smartphone habits. Each campaign item depicts people going about their day-to-day pursuits while their handhelds are visibly face down and unobtrusive. These photos were shared on Facebook and Instagram, and went viral immediately.
Funded by Tel Aviv - קרן בקטנה (Inactive) (August 2013)