Punkt. is a relatively small, dynamic and independent company, and we like to maintain close connections with our customers and with individuals and organisations within the design world. As part of this, we regularly run 'Punkt. Challenges'. These include design challenges that form part of postgraduate design courses, and digital detox challenges where self-confessed smartphone addicts are invited to revisit their relationship with technology.
Ten years ago, smartphones were still very unusual. Now, a life lived outside the framework of the smartphone is unusual. Ten years ago, most people had mobile phones, but they would generally only attract our attention if another human being had decided to call us or send us a text. Now that most people's lives are so much more automated: the new normal is to scurry around within a ceaseless onslaught of status updates, push notifications and a whole lot more.
Our Digital Detox Challenges have been running since 2016. The negative aspects of smartphones weren't widely discussed at that point, but there has since been a surge of interest in the subject. Participant reports are a key element of the Detox Challenges; by running the Challenges and publishing these reports we aim to keep the discussion of people's relationship with technology prominent and on-going - both in terms of tech addiction and the importance of high-quality design in the real (i.e. non-virtual) world.
"This is one smart dumbphone. The underlying premise is actually true: it eliminates distractions and increases focus. More importantly, though, this machine promotes human interaction. Not just telephone conversations, but real human-to-human contact."
Rene Chun, WIRED