Anti technology can seem like a bit of an oxymoron in today’s digital age. Yet as brands increasingly work to design digital experiences, others are pushing back to find new ways to limit technologies. In other cases, digitally-drowning individuals are finding new ways to focus, screen out distractions, and eliminate their technology time. If you’re dreaming of life off the grid and it’s not feasible, here are some anti technology innovations that make it a little easier to avoid being tethered to your smartphone.
Technology makes it easier to go technology free
Have you ever been at an event or show and just wished people would put their phones away? Or maybe you’ve been at a high-end restaurant and wished your tablemates would eat their meal instead of Instagramming it. Now, venues, restaurants, art events, and schools are turning to technologies like Yondr to make it easier to create phone-free environments.
Whether you’re trying to prevent a copyright violation such as people filming at a comedy event, or you’re simply looking to create a phone-free experiential environment, these tools can help. Guests are given a pouch, and users put their phones inside. The pouches lock for the duration of the event, and if a guest needs to use their phone, they can step outside and tap it against an unlocking station.
Apps turn off the distractions of other apps
Social media has made it easier to connect to colleagues, friends, and loved ones across the globe. An endless array of communities and news sites let you keep your pulse on innovation and the 24/7 news cycle. Any random inspiration can lead you down internet rabbit holes. Increasingly, people find it hard to tune out distractions and get their work done.
This has lead to the development of a number of tools designed to help create distraction-free digital spaces. Freedom lets users block websites, apps, and games on their computers, smartphones, or tablets for set periods of time. As the site notes, the goal is to help users “develop healthier, more intentional digital habits, that give you control over your time and attention.” Last year, Apple’s iOS 12 update introduced features to support the same. The Verge reports that Screen Time helps users track their actual usage, while App Limits lets you set a daily maximum on how much time you spend playing your favorite game or checking Facebook, for example.
The rise of the digital detox
Detoxing from bad-for-you foods, binge watching Netflix, and that pervasive coffee addiction have become common practices. It’s a way to feel lighter, in control, and focused on what’s important to you. A new phenomenon that’s come up is the “digital detox”. GlobalWebIndex found that 1 in 5 consumers has done a digital detox. It looks different for everyone; some people do a social media fast for a month or leave their smartphones in a locked drawer for a weekend. It’s even turned into a travel trend. Travel+Leisure recently noted that a number of destinations—such as Getaway cabins, for example—invite guests to hand off their devices and unplug as a cornerstone of the vacation experience.
As much as technology improves productivity and connectivity, maintaining a healthy balance can be a challenge. Anti technology innovations are helping create tech-free spaces, periods in life, and time for focusing on deeper things. If you feel you could benefit from less immersion and more control, these anti technology innovations could help put you back in charge.