SARATOGA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Even as consumers recognize their time-consuming and increasingly dependent relationship with tech devices, they are struggling to curb smartphone or other technology usage and appear dissatisfied with their attempts at “digital detox,” according to a new report from Mojo Vision.
The paradox of value
While many leading technology companies have introduced initiatives to limit technology distraction and cut back on screen time, new data from Mojo Vision, an emerging augmented reality company, suggests subtracting or limiting the presence of devices and online content is not a sustainable solution.
The new report, Device Distraction: Understanding the Problem, Re-Thinking the Solution, is based on a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted in late 2018 that was designed to understand users’ attitudes about technology distraction and device dependence and their efforts to curtail it. The report shows that while most respondents said they periodically moderate screen time or remove devices from their lives in one way or another, 54 percent said subtracting technology – namely smartphones and other personal devices – didn’t create the desired effect, or they were unsure if such attempts had any effect. In fact, one in three (33 percent) said that their usage actually increased when they started using their device again or that restricting tech had no lasting effect.
Personal devices like smartphones have become indispensable at the office and home, but people are increasingly conscious of the consequences of too much screen time. Most respondents (65 percent) said that consumer technology has become intrusive and they worry that it will continue to play an increasingly dominant role in people’s lives.
At the root of this unease is that the very technology that was designed to improve communication is now often a barrier to meaningful connections, according to the report. Of the top three concerns respondents expressed over excessive time on devices, 65 percent said that it hurts the quality of the interactions with the people around them. Respondents said the constant stream of interruptions from their devices was a major issue, with 60 percent saying a tech device interrupts them six or more times per day.
“Screen time limits and device detox are the standard responses to technology distraction right now, but people are still struggling to find a workable balance,” said Steve Sinclair, SVP of Product and Marketing at Mojo Vision. “We are trying to better understand how to design solutions that address this dependence without forcing people to make a tradeoff between staying connected to the technology and the people in their lives.”
Subtraction is not a long-term solution
While it’s normal to remove a disruptive aspect of life, in the case of personal technology it’s not a viable long-term solution, the report suggests. Respondents to the survey reported trying many tactics to minimize tech’s interference on their lives, from reducing the number of notifications on their phones (46%), to designating “no phone or device” times for themselves or family (38%). For some, these efforts have been futile, with 32 percent saying that device subtraction hasn’t solved the problem because people are the problem and not the devices themselves. Separately, 29 percent say it is the reliance we have on devices and the information they provide that we can’t give up.
Imagining the possibilities
The survey asked respondents to react to potential solutions to this problem, including future form factors or innovations in which technology adapts to consumers’ lives rather than consumers having to change their own behavior. They were also asked to consider a future in which technology becomes so small or discreet that it is practically invisible. More than half (54%) said their lives would benefit most by this type of “invisible computing” by being able to stay connected to reminders and important updates, without being distracted in the middle of a conversation or when concentrating on finishing an important task. Another 40 percent said this less distracting form factor would make it easier to build stronger business partnerships and 36 percent said it would increase human connection and improve personal interactions.
About Mojo Vision
Mojo Vision is the Invisible Computing Company, dedicated to developing products and platforms that re-imagine the intersection of ideas, information and people. Instead of being tethered to devices that are increasingly a distraction in many aspects of our lives, Mojo envisions delivering information and knowledge that is immediate, but without the disruption of traditional devices. Mojo is inventing the future of computing – Invisible Computing – which imagines a world where information is there when you need it, technology fades away, and you can freely connect with others in a more meaningful and confident way. Founded by technology experts with decades of experience developing pioneering products and platforms and backed by some of the world’s leading technology investors, Mojo believes the future is invisible. Mojo Vision is based in Saratoga, CA.