Is it time for a digital detox?
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Did you wake up today all groggy because your lover kept you up late with endless indulgent touches? This morning was this same lover the first thing you stroked and caressed into life?
Regardless of whether you are single, can you comfortably replace the above word of “lover” with “smartphone”?
We used to take suitors to bed. Now our phones seduce us instead. Equally, waking up used to be mysterious. A new day held infinite possibilities and offerings: new conversations, new people … even new places to explore.
Then smartphones and social media happened. And we’ve been short-changed by these false idols prophets ever since. Our experience of life is dominated by a compelling yet constructed world where our attention and focus ricochets through the same screens and the same apps.
Daily we encounter identical online conversations; we pick up other people’s political and social opinions that we find in the gutter of the Internet - the comment boxes – and try them out likes discarded clothes. We stare; half distracted, at the same sponsored “viral” content, thrown up algorithmically, just in time for us all to stumble to the same numb conclusions.
That sounds bleak. But if someone from the 1970s was magically popped into a 2016 train carriage, a bus or maybe even a pub they’d be baffled: “What the fuck is wrong these people staring into these tiny televisions? Is the world cup final on now? What on earth are they all watching at exactly the same time so intensely?”
It is time to digitally detox, a process to gather focus, unbend our necks and ascend to greater perspective. It’s time to once again curate our own worlds and experience and find the magic that dwells in us all, that needs teased out rather than force fed in.
We have just launched Think Trigg, a new productivity and mindfulness platform. It was an easy decision to make the counter intuitive step of launching our first product as an antidote to the changes described above. We have produced an analogue companion that adopts the journal process to structure each day, week and year away from the distractions of the web. You’ll need a pen and your own thoughts.
We demand to assist people’s thirst to inject their self back into their own lives. So the Trigg Life Mapper is a paper sanctuary for people’s unique intentions and plans. We spent 12 months researching, designing and field-testing a paper environment where we can enflame users into questioning their current routines and structures.
But we’ve spent the same 12 months batting off the same question: “Why isn’t Trigg a smartphone app?” And to paraphrase a dozen answers into a more succinct moment of editorial: “We only know how far we have fallen when we finally hit the ground.”
We have deliberately digitally detoxed. We abrasively overhauled our digital contact. From banning digital devices in the bedroom to having three hour “no fly zones” straight after work with airplane mode to leaving phones at home to go to gigs. Books replaced Feedly news apps on the Tube. We withdrew and observed the changes in our lives, stress levels and the ensuing diet of culture that we had to find elsewhere than our pockets. We even started wearing old watches so that our go-to time device was no longer the most distracting device ever created.
Another question: why do you think society has become so obsessed with these wisdom quotes that you now see everywhere? For example: “Each day we are born again, it’s what we do today is what matters the most” – Buddha. The Internet is rife with them.
Pick any topic, theme or emotion then Google that word with “quote” and click on images. People have spent millions of cumulative hours bending bits of wisdom onto inspirational graphics in order for us to remember ways of living, feeling and reacting that have been stolen from us.
There is a danger that by sculpting our reality with Instagram filters, hunting for Facebook likes, obsessively editing gifs, timing our social posts for impact and a myriad of other really weird digital behaviour shifts that we are irrefutably meddling with the DNA of our happiness.
A perfect moment should simply exist. It shouldn’t be caught, killed and pinned like a butterfly was 100 years ago. That’s because the perfect moment can never be bettered. It stands alone for both a second and an eternity. We should be mindful of how time pauses for us - when so many different factors align deliciously - to offer a glimpse of absolute beauty or inspiration.
Instead now we impale our experience with pixels and mount it on our walls like a dead animal. Perhaps in 100 years time your great-great-grand children will be sneaking and peaking at your Facebook wall with moribund disgust, like how you once stared at the head of a stuffed rhino clinging to an ancient wall somewhere, that older generation clumsily swiping at the most basic method to try and capture and retain a vision of beauty.
We believe it is time to go back to move forwards. Oscar Wilde taught us that “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes” and if we’re not careful we may look back and realise the ultimate mistake: the life we have just lived was not actually our own.
To learn more about Trigg watch our short video below.