A common vulnerability humanity is plagued with everyday is addiction. Wether it be addiction to alcohol, drugs, caffeine or really most anything the human brain attaches itself to and grows a dependency for. So it is safe to say that there is such thing as an addiction to social media. The Pew Research Centers article “The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World” states this vulnerability as “Digital addiction” and states it as a need for tech companies to survive so they use tech and psychology to manipulate the minds of the predominately younger generation and make them “digitally addicted”. This topic is also explored throughout the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”. So it is clear that no one is safe from digital addiction as long as they own a device that allows them access to social media and the internet. Given that information, the task to help prevent digital addiction becomes much more difficult. But what if you could prevent with addiction through a digital device?
The idea is creating an app which once downloaded on your device creates categories of all of your apps and puts a time limit on each category. Once that time limit is achieved your phone automatically sleeps and prevents you from using any of those apps until the next morning. In the graph provided I have listed common categories of apps and a time limit for each category. The time limits are quite large to begin with but it should be a starting point for the user. Like most addiction recovery, it needs to be done is stages to help ween the user off of whatever they are addicted to. The limits can start quite high and then after a period of time such as a month, they can continue to shorten and go down by increments like 15 minutes or a half hour.
Digital addiction is not only psychologically impairing but also physically impairing as well. According to The Pew Research center article heavy tech use can lead to “losses of analytical and problem-solving skill, memory formation, contextual thinking, conversational depth and empathy as well as increases in anxiety.” (Pew,1). Another ailing component of technology is blue light. The light your phone and other tech devices omits is called blue light and it can cause a plethora of issues such as damage to your eyesight (macular degeneration) and muscle strain. Many people suffer the consequences of technology use everyday without noticing and it leads them to develop issues which down the line can become fatal or debilitating.
In conclusion, digital addiction is a problem that effects all of us without knowing. Tech companies purposefully design the tech and apps we use everyday to suck us in and take over our minds. This can cause many issues such as anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia etc. As well as physical issues such as loss of eyesight and muscle deterioration or strain. The help we are looking for could be inside technology itself. By creation of an app like the one mentioned above, we can begin to steer away from the mind control of big tech companies and take charge of our own minds and better ourselves and our mental health. It is the overcoming of technology by using technology. If we can’t get rid of it completely why not use it to better our issues?
Article I chose: The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated Word