There has been a lot of discussion about Farhad Manjoo's piece "It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone" in which he quotes that Apple is possibly our "only hope" to curb tech addiction.
I agree that we should have much more granular control over notifications and it would be nice if iOS had some kind of built in time monitoring feature to highlight our usage patterns, but is it really Apple's place to go beyond that?
He cites government regulation and user restraint as "options" but as quickly dismisses them saying "the former is unlikely and the latter is insufficient."
Personally, I keep removing apps from my phone because I just don't use them and I'm already running pretty minimally. This is after removing the likes of Twitter, Facebook and other time sinks.
I do this because I have taken the time to really assess and understand how I use my phone and vowed to make my time with it more constructive. The less I have the less that can distract me.
I acknowledge that I'm very much in the minority.
Still, it all gets me thinking that maybe this state of affairs we find ourselves in isn't a tech problem but a societal one. I don't believe "tech" is able to fix itself.
As I mentioned before, there are recommendations that schools should be more involved and I feel this is the right approach. It is an educational issue as much as anything.
Children today learn to swipe before they can walk or talk. Phones and tablets are the new baby sitters, and texting/messaging is as second nature to them as talking - in some cases more so.
The question, therefore, becomes how do we educate them to intellectually examine this behaviour without sounding like we are delivering a sermon promising eternal damnation? How do we get them to stop and rethink something that is as easy as breathing?