I previously wrote about how taking a break from technology for 48 hours benefited me on a psychological, emotional and even physiological level and helped me to overcome writers’ block.
I came back from my “unplugged” weekend feeling better than I have in months, if not years. While I have since had to plug back in (in order to do my job), I’m much more conscious of the role that technology plays in my life.
In fact, I’ve committed to switching off my phone or, as a minimum, placing it on Flight Mode, over weekends or when I’m on leave.
When my therapist told me about a device that she had read about that allows you to lock your phone away in a smartphone-sized electronic box for a user-configured time (for example during dinner), I knew I had to investigate.
The DistractaGone acts like a small electronic safe in which smartphone addicts can place their phones, enter the desired period for which access to the aforementioned device is to be barred, and then press a button to lock the box for the desired time.
Once this time has elapsed, the box will unlock and the phone can be retrieved. Up to four phones can be placed in a single isolation box.
This innovative solution makes it easy for smartphone users to take a break from their technology in order to focus on being more productive, socializing, engaging in healthy recreation or simply “switching off” for a while.
With the number of global smartphone users set to reach a staggering 6.1 billion by the year 2020, it’s become more important than ever before to create environments that are free from technological distractions for extended periods of time.
Being permanently connected can have a significant impact on one’s mental and physical health, not to mention adversely affecting social skills and providing a source of near-constant distraction. With the vast majority of smartphones offering the ability to send and receive email, it’s become all too easy to take work home. For many – including, until recently, myself – it’s like never really leaving the office. All that really changes is the scenery.
This level of “connectedness” leads to increased levels of stress and raises the risk of burning out or developing serious health issues that are often for life.
The DistractaGone may just prove to be one of the most important inventions of the Digital Age, and the fact that such a device is even necessary is an indication of just how serious and widespread the problem of cellphone addiction – or at least over dependence – has become.
The product is, at the time of writing, still in its prototype stages, but you can help bring it closer to an official release by backing the DistractaGone’s Kickstarter campaign.