24 August 2008

How cell phones hurt communities

Be the first to share

Hiker
Benjamin Dangl of AlterNet reflects on how cell phone use has crept into every aspect of daily life, ironically weakening the basic human communication that is the fabric of any community.

As Slate commented in his Adbusters essay, “It seems the more ‘connected’ we are, the more detached we become.”

Back on the hiking trail in Spain I saw this play out in a myriad of ways. Though I was experiencing cell-freedom, throughout the trip, I found myself surrounded by people, mainly Europeans, on their cell phones, texting and talking with concerned family members and friends throughout the day. People were torn between developing friendships with strangers and calling up or texting old friends and family they already knew. Similarly, back in the U.S., I often found myself checking my messages or making a phone call rather than striking up a conversation with a stranger at the post office or bus stop. In this way, I was cutting off potentially eye-opening conversations and new friendships. I also walked around, talking on my cell phone, ignoring my surroundings and neighborhood the same way that Italian hiker did that morning in the mountains. If we can’t talk to face to face with our neighbors, or notice the world we’re walking through now, where will cell phone use take our communities and families five years down the road?

Read full story

Be the first to share
29 January 2016
[Report] Consumers more frustrated by smart home apps than devices
New report by Argus Insights suggests disappointing apps break user experience, may cause decline in consumer delight over time. The Smart Home ecosystem comprises both hardware devices and software apps and together they are supposed to …
28 January 2016
The Power of Privacy – documentary film
In this half-hour film (commissioned by The Guardian and Silent Circle), Aleks Krotoski travels the world to undergo challenges that explore our digital life in the 21st century. Watch her be stalked and hacked, fight to …
27 January 2016
Remaking Ford into a user experience-driven company
Ford CEO Mark Fields recently declared that Ford would be remade as a user-experience driven company: "We have obviously a lot experience in the car business, over 113 years, and our differentiation is going to be …
26 January 2016
Designing for Crisis, Design for Real Life
It’s easy to design for the idealized user, someone who’s smart, calm, and informed. It’s less easy, and thus more important, to design for a more realistic user: still smart, but harried and uncertain. The …
24 January 2016
The grand illusion of empowerment
Financial times journalist/anthropologist Gillian Tett deconstructs the idea that the internet hands power to the people. In fact, she writes, in most countries power remains firmly in the hands of the elite. The bitter — and …
22 January 2016
Creating age-friendly cities
In a new report the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute (MHFI) argues that we need a new thinking about how to create "age-friendly cities." Adapting to the challenges of an aging urban population, they write, requires …
22 January 2016
The power of creativity from below
Anthropologist Michael Thompson believes in the power of creativity from below in solving some of the smaller and bigger problems of our time. "People generally are very creative and innovative. Many anthropological case studies have shown …
20 January 2016
Forrester Research: Mobile marketing companies lack ethnographic capabilities
In June 2015, Google commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate how prepared mobile marketers are to deliver to consumers during quick mobile "moments" - i.e. — instances when they reflexively turn to their devices to act …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

1 January 2016
For when things get personal…
13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

See all articles