Social Object Project - Early Thoughts / Direction
For the social object project, I'm interested in the subject of communication. Nowadays, people tend to use their smartphones everywhere and evertytime. It's not a sin to use a smartphone but the problem is that when you overuse it. There are a lot of positive impact of smartphones such as connecting people. You can get connected to friends and family that lives on the other side of the world. But there are a lot of negative impact as well! For example, during family dinner or having dinner with your friends, people tend to look their smartphones and not interacting or having conversations with other people, talk too loud on the bus and etc.
Some people are replacing face-to-face conversations with cybernetic ones. Clinical psychologist Lisa Merlo says, "Some patients pretend to talk on the phone or fiddle with apps to avoid eye contact or other interactions at a party." In a survey made by Gazelle, "More than 25% of respondents reported that they "almost always" use their smartphone while in a social setting such as during a meal or during a party. In addition, 58% said they use it ‘usually’ or ‘occasionally’ during these settings." Furthermore,
70% check their phones in the morning within just one hour of getting up
56% check their phones before going to bed
48% check their phones over the weekend
51% constantly check their phones during vacation
44% reported they would feel very anxious and irritable if they don't interact with their phones within a week
People are substituting, on a grand scale, the valuable experience of chatting with people face-to-face with simply sending them a text that consists of a few words and abbreviations. The real time reaction isn’t there; there is a sense that there is a lack of reality, which has been replaced by a virtual reality. This evidently results in people who don’t know how to act when they’re not using their cell phones.
I have this problem where I always tend to check the clock on my phone and sometimes fiddle my phone pretending that I'm using some apps to avoid eye contact if I feel awkward in a new place. My girlfriend is addicted to her phone and can't live with it! For example, when talking with her on Skype. We are having a long distance relationship and because of this, we always talk on Skype but during our Skype calls, she will always play with her phone and get distracted! My mom also have this problem where she always playing with her phone, updating her facebook with photos of food and so on. So, this is the problem that I really want to tackle.
For this, I have look into radio jammer. A radio jammer is any device that deliberately blocks, jams or interferes with authorized wireless communications.
By using this, we can block GSM, 3G, Wifi, GPS signals because most of mobile phone addicts usually use social media and by blocking the signals, they will not be able to use their phones. But this will not prevent them to play video games installed in their phones. So, I was thinking to create a device that can interupt waves or electricity and make the phone to freeze so that they can't even use their phone! Anyway, this is just my early thoughts. I have other subjects that I wanted to explore for this social object project.