How many times do you look at your phone when it vibrates, knowing full well that it’s the email you sent yourself 30 seconds ago? Reflex causes us to compulsively reach for our iPhone the second that it makes the tiniest of noises. Have you ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs? The similarity between Pavlov’s experiments and our reaction to the ringer poses no stretch of the imagination.
The telephone is addictive, caused by the same reward patterns as drugs, sex and good food. Telephone addiction is already talked about as a real disorder.
Even though new technologies come with addictive and disruptive properties, they can’t be eliminated from our lives. Because being connected is way too important! Some of the benefits of technology include: bridging distances and language barriers, increasing autonomy and a sense of accomplishment, supporting the depressed, teaching us new things and, most importantly, helping us stay in touch with loved ones.
We must therefore find solutions that create connections, without creating an addiction to the things that connect us. What’s at stake with “mobile” technologies such as glasses and watches, which contribute to never-ending notifications? Should we adopt an ethical code to deal with this phenomenon, or take advantage of the user’s addiction to develop profitable services, such as Farmville and Facebook?
“Connect” is a call to creative people, decision makers and users, encouraging them to explore new opportunities for making the world a better connected place.