"Imagine a future where technology is built on our values, not our screen time."
This is the overall message of the insanely inspirational and downright poetic video above, which shows us that while our apps are generally made to improve our lives, they also tether us down in order to keep us glued to our screen for as long as possible.
Case in point? I just checked my iPhone screen three times while writing that sentence. Nope, I didn't have any notifications: no texts, no Facebook messages, no new snaps. I just missed that sweet glow, I guess.
Well, if it were up to the Time Well Spent movement, we'd be able to use our mobile devices in a way that would make us put our phones back into our pockets as fast as humanly possible (unless it's a Note 7, in which case toss that sucker into Mount Doom where it belongs).
If you're anything like me, most of your downtime is spent swiping through potential dates on Tinder, religiously checking your Facebook for those ego-boosting likes and devouring people's stories on Snapchat with your ever-so hungry eyes.
The Time Well Spent movement wants you and me to get all that time back.
On the topic of where he sees this non-profit movement, that's focused on "aligning technology with our humanity," taking us in the years to come, co-founder Tristan Harris said,
On a day-to-day basis, that would range to an infinite number of possibilities... systems could help us spend more time with the people we care about, help us communicate well, provide us with news that's based in truth, educational, and applicable to our growth, lives, and values, instead of whatever would get the most clicks likes and shares... and on and on to all aspects of our lives.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Tristan advocated finding a better way to rate apps based on how they actually improve our lives IRL, saying,
There needs to be new ratings, new criteria, new design standards, new certification standards. There is a way to design based not on addiction.
Speaking as someone who used to play Word Scramble to the point where I was dreaming about creating different words from a Boggle-like assortment of letters, I can relate to how easy it is to get addicted to an app or game.
In an interview with Elite Daily over email, Tristan not only confirmed that there is a group of apps that make us devoted followers quickly, he also explained that are certain surprise time-drainers that do just the same. He added,
Social networks, mobile gaming, and dating apps lean heavily on systems that get us hooked, but in the attention economy, even meditation apps are competing for our time with similar tactics.
It's time to find a way to start living our lives unfettered to our screens. And I for one am extremely inspired to start. Who's with me?