At the end of February, we attended the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, California. Speaker Tristan Harris, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Humane Technology gave a talk titled, Time Well Spent: Taking Back Our Lives & Attention.
As the former Design Ethicist at Google and someone who had worked with the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, Harris has spent over a decade studying how technology is being created to steer our thoughts and actions. His aim is to spread awareness on how many computer programmers are learning to design mobile apps and programs to compete for our attention making the cell phone more addictive than before.
This ever increasing issue of mobile phone addiction is now shifting how we function as people and in society – in some cases, taking away from valued face-to-face interaction.
Harris mentions how we can slow the shift and that the first step is awareness. The Center for Humane Technology gives several suggestions on how to reduce the addictive qualities of our phones.
“The more interruptions we get externally, it’s conditioning and training us to interrupt ourselves. We actually self-interrupt every 3 and a half minutes.” — Tristan Harris
Inspired by Harris’ mission, we decided to create the 7-day Take Control of Your Phone Challenge and invite you to join us beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 22nd.
For one week, two team members from mygrateful.life (myself included) will take the challenge by following these tips from the Center for Humane Technology in order to take control of our phones:
1. Turn off all notifications except from people.
2. Go Grayscale.
3. Try keeping the home screen to tools only.
4. Launch other apps by typing.
5. Charge our devices outside the bedroom.
6. Send audio notes -or- call instead of texting.
Next week, we will report back on our experiences and whether these tips increased awareness of the present moment, improved people interaction and any other overall observations. If you decide to join us, we would love to have you share your experiences.
Cheers to a good 7-Day Take Control of Your Phone Challenge!