I don't get why people think that this is apple's problem.
Do a better job of parenting. Have some self discipline.
There are so many products in this world that take advantage of our biology. The iPhone is just one. And it's currently being obsessed over by media outlets. What about all the processed foods making people fat and unhealthy? What about Starbucks selling addictive drugs on every corner and getting away with it? Same with Coca-Cola, why is adding addictive chemicals to a soda that is sold to everyone including children okay? What about television? All of these TV shows coming out are designed to hook you in. Walking my dog every night, I can see everyone just sitting in front of their televisions, wasting time.
If you are going to force a company to help people ween themselves from addiction, don't be a hypocrite. You have your own addictions and vices, what makes yours more valid than someone else's. If we are going to make products provide tools to limit their own use, lets do that with all of the addictive products out there, and not single out one company because it's trendy to not be on your phone.
Something that I don't know if they've mentioned specifically in public was that the Apple Watch was partly designed to deal with smartphone addiction.
I don't have a citable source handy here, so it's just my word, but when I interned with Apple last year there were a few "town hall" events where interns could ask questions of senior management (Cook, Ahrendts, Cue, Maestri, etc). At one of them (I think the Tim Cook one but I'm not 100% certain) someone asked about smartphone addiction. He pointed out that the Apple Watch actually plays a role. It gives you a tap when you get a notification, but the tap isn't too intense and doesn't go for more than a moment. In user studies, they found that people were much more likely to simply dismiss notifications from the Watch than if they weren't wearing one.
The effect of this was that people weren't unlocking their phones as often, and by merely avoiding unlocking the phone people were not as tied to using it. It used to be the case for me that I would get a notification, unlock my phone and attend to the notification, and then immediately afterwards open Reddit or Facebook or something because, well, I was already on my phone so why not?
Since getting an Apple Watch, I've noticed I do this much less. Maybe part of it is that I'm more cognizant of the problem, but another part is that it's much easier to simply disregard the notifications since they're more fleeting now.
I'm sure this sounds like a sales pitch for the Watch to some people, but I don't mean it that way. I just thought it was very interesting when Cook (I think) pointed out that this was a deliberate consideration with the Watch and then I was able to anecdotally confirm its effectiveness myself. I wish I had an actual source to cite for this, but notes are forbidden in the town hall events.
I've been struggling with addiction in various forms for my entire adult life, so I have a decent understanding of it imho.
When I first learned what a smartphone was, I knew immediately that I would become addicted to it if I let myself.
I simply chose not to get addicted to smartphones by never purchasing one, and it's working out quite well so far.
I know they're awesome little nuggets of technology, but I just don't want to be that connected... so I don't own one.
For the same reasons that I choose not to continually purchase the latest gaming console.
Spending $1,000 on something every 6 months (amortized cost of the smartphone + connectivity charges) that eventually becomes worthless isn't far off from a serious drug or alcohol addiction financially speaking...
And now all of my "straight laced" friends can hardly even carry on a casual conversation without looking at their smartphones every few minutes has only reinforced my way of thinking.
They use smartphones as passive babysitters for their children when they're on short car rides without hesitation.
The look on a 3 year old's mesmerized face as they stare into a tablet disgusts me to no end.
I now choose to never own a smartphone.
I know they're a detriment to society.
Perhaps when I am old, dying, and actually in desperate need of "contact", I'll splurge on one.
But until then, I'm perfectly content receiving and composing emails from a full-blown computer with a keyboard... and sending the odd text message through my dumbphone.
I work in the tech industry, and refusing to own a smartphone hasn't slowed me down yet!
In general, I agree strongly with this sentiment:
> What does a healthy, moderate digital life look like? I think that manufacturers and app developers need to take on this responsibility, before government regulators decide to step in
As a bicyclist and driver I believe one of the best ways to enact this would be add a feature that allows investigators / insurers to answer the question of “whether the device was I use at the time of an accident”.
I’ve taken to yelling “get of your effing phone” at drivers obviously looking down at devices while I’m driving, walking or cycling around; I think the phone doing that would be more efficient.
I think smartphone use has split into two paths: utility and "discovery." Utilities are the tools we use every day, the tools we want to be stable, fast, and (relatively) unchanging. E.g. sms, maps, browser, phone, camera, email. "Discovery" is all the new, unstable, changing stuff. I think there's an enormous market for a utility smartphone...and it doesn't even have to be a smartphone. Something between an old Nokia and an iPhone, but still a precision-crafted, luxury device.
I have to wonder - what is staring at our phones all day doing to our necks? And are we going to have an epidemic of debilitating cervical spine issues pop up 10 or 20 years from now?
Is this shifting the blame? It seems people are addicted to smartphones because it's what they want. Or put another way what else draws interest in their life. Which goes to a quality of life aspect.
The onus should not be on the manufacturer to address addiction. But instead, provide means to combat addiction. Apple has that notification toggle. What more do we want, auto lock after X hours of usage. This will probably be harsh but how about learn some self-discipline. If a stepping program is needed, then implement that. Like to ween people off. But it shouldn't be a constant. Why are you checking your phone so much? Why aren't you out doing something, or talking to someone? If you don't want to do that, why are you complaining about checking your phone so much.
That is to say some people are introverts. They don't want to talk much. The smartphone allows them to better socialize, and keep to their habits.
I've noticed since I upgraded to a pixel. I find myself subconsciously pressing the fingerprint authentication while it's in my pocket. Not looking at it, but just pressing it feeling it unlock. I came to this realization the other day. I was reminded of some of my other addictive behaviors. I'm looking at dumber phones now actually.
I've recently downgraded in a way. My biggest use of my phone was for music. I grabbed an old iPod nano and put Rockbox on it. Largely leaving my phone in my backpack. I've also eyed the recent Nokia phones.
Legitimizing smartphone addiction is the main reason why Apple will never put a dark mode in iOS. Atleast I hope they don't. It has never been a personal problem (I am carrying my own bunch of bad habits) but I hate watching friends, partners constantly checking their phones in the night.
The Cali Cartel needs to tackle the issue of cocaine addiction —- but don’t hold your breath.
With the Apple Watch with LTE, Apple _is_ tackling the issue of smartphone addiction.
I've been using my Apple Watch as my sole form of communication for 3 months now, it's great.
I think I disagree, but in a good way. Apple needs to protect privacy. Google, FB, et all are pushing devices that upload as much information about users as possible. The most recent Apple update resounded with me in that it said 'privacy is a fundamental right'. What Apple needs to tackle is the issue of becoming an advertisement agency.
This article.... where to begin. Firstly this isn't an "Apple problem". Their smartphone product is one of many. We also see plenty of non-smartphone digital addictions. It's not about smartphones either.
And then this:
"You should be able to see exactly how you spend your time and, if you wish, moderate your behaviour accordingly."
If anyone needs to use an app to check whether they're spending too much time looking at apps, then it's game over. If we need to regularly consult a computer to determine how to live our lives without consulting the computer too much, it's game over.
Is society really in this much trouble, that people are writing articles asking for tech giants to save us from tech products? In so many ways that is like giving up as a thoughtful being, formerly in control of your own life and decisions, but now admitting you are merely a fish. Worse than a fish because of what you've lost. You once had organic direction and intuition, but now have an app for that.
Tony Fadell says,
> I think that manufacturers and app developers need to take on this responsibility, before government regulators decide to step in.
Tim Cook recently said, "I think the best regulation is no regulation, is self-regulation". And Tony Fadell expresses a similar idea here. That no regulation is the best idea and that companies should "behave" so that the status quo of no regulation continues.
But how do they keep these opinions in the face of all the enormous evidence that companies are very specifically designed to be unable to self-regulate? The very structure of a corporation today means it is incentivized to sneak by and almost break as many laws as possible to be short-term profitable. This is incongruent with long-term health, growth, capitalism, and everything else, because it is a strong forcing factor towards very bad corporate behaviour. Constantly lobbying for "no regulation" or to act quickly before those big-bad-regulators come in to protect consumers from poison and addiction makes no sense.
Companies will behave badly as long as the law allows it. Suggesting that the companies should behave better while suggesting that there should be absolutely no consequence for bad behaviour legally is a bizarre doubethink. I don't get it.
I hope Apple does provide the tools to help users control their usage. If they do, it'll be a prime example of the difference in philosophies (or marketing, if you will) between Facebook and Apple. Facebook would never help you curtail usage or take control of usage. They would want users to be oblivious to what's harming them and enable them, in the name of "engagement".
If we can hold Facebook accountable for our data, there is no reason why we can't make Apple responsible for our behavior. Apple blames others for addiction, but I think it is time they recognize the damage they are doing to people's minds. In another decade, I am sure there will be sizeable longitudinal survey's pointing to smartphones and people's psychological problems.
Have a switch that reduces motion effects and dulls the colors... smartphone dramamine.
Otherwise, society is likely to devolve further into ground-lighted sidewalk crossings with distracted people hunched over, oblivious to everyone else and missing life. Tinder: nuf said.
[Insert Banksy smartphone lovers gaze pic]
Shouldn't the onus be on the developers of the applications sitting on top of the smartphones? We don't chide PC manufacturers for video game addicted kids, do we?
iOS' "Do Not Disturb While Driving" is a good example of how they're trying. Sure it's touted as a "safety" feature, but it's doing what they need to do: encourage the user not to use their phone all the time.
Three years ago I posted this... Any suggestions how to tie iPad entertainment time to Khan academy progress? Does anything like this already exist? item?id=9299697
A few days ago Apple approved my app that does exactly that. Currently it is free. Search the iOS store for StudyCity. I am very grateful to Apple for approving my app. When you make a "unique" app, there is no guarantee that Apple will approve it. FYI, my project email is firstname.lastname@example.org The website is StudyCity.org
A tool like RescueTime helps segment one's use of devices and services - it's pretty insightful in terms of measuring one's "Digital Weight"
> "Pain killer manufacturers need to tackle the issue of opiate addiction"
Looks like they already have, lol (all the way to the bank).
I'm such a cynic these days.
When I see an article like this, all I can think of is that this is the angle the FBs and Googles of the world will use to give Apple it's own share of social responsibility problems.
Hey, yes, we collect all data, but Apple, you really should be doing something about phone addiction. Especially since you, Apple, have "system-level control across devices".
Definitely understand how that comes across as conspiracy theoryish, but the timing is too inviting.
I know HN is big on personal responsibility, so here are two tools to help you deal with phone addiction.
I made Space http://youjustneedspace.com which help with individual apps.
An Android launcher called Siempo http://www.getsiempo.com/ is a more complete app control system.
Why does this has to be an issue with the companies ? It's the same thing with videogames after some time you'll get a message like " You have been playing for XX Hours, we reommend that you take a break. " and it's understandable but if it's not smartphones people will get addicted to something else.
This is more of a culture issue that should be addressed in schools from an early age ( at least in my opinion ).
Worldwide, Google has a much larger market share. Let Google take the lead.
Actually, Apple doesn't "need" to do anything.
Why are we so eager to blame companies on HN. I wish people would take ownership for their own actions instead of blaming companies. I can't wait for the article, "Take ownership of yourself, stop blaming others".
The actual UK article TechCrunch is basing its summary on
Is it really smart phone adiction or adiction to facebook and other apps?
An Apple cash cow is financializing your personal data via a vast sprawling ecosystem http://www.visualcapitalist.com/personal-data-ecosystem/
To pick Up Faddell's analogy, this is like letting big sugar regulate itself. It doesn't and has spent millions pushing red herrings like 'low fat' to protect its profit machine.
In a parallel universe 'How to take on Big Sugar and win' 'Camilla Cavendish, the initiator of the UK’s tax on sugar, says it’s time to start treating it as nicotine' https://www.ft.com/content/6be1a340-3e3d-11e8-b9f9-de94fa33a...
Money is the only language the tech platform barons speak too, despite all the posturing...
The majority of the population has been brain washed into believing that they need a computer that's physically attached to them 24/7.
I believe that there is immense value in not having a smartphone.
It's a value that can't be packaged into a box and sold for the sticker price.
It's the value of being more engaged with your own life and the things that actually matter to you.