It’s no secret that one side effect of the tech boom of the early 2000s is that many people are now, for lack of a better word, addicted to their gadgets. Whether it be cell phones, laptops, or tablets, if you are anything like the average member of modern society, there’s a good chance you spend a great deal of time staring at a screen. While it is true that concerned parents and educators have been lamenting the negative effects of social media and the like for years, we’ve come to a turning point in terms of how we seek to address these issues—and in particular, who is responsible for addressing them.
You may be surprised to hear that the most recent firms to pioneer tools intended to help individuals limit their technology use are the tech magnates themselves.
A long list of companies have begun to implement features with the express purpose of alleviating some of the negative psychological impacts that these technologies have had on individuals and society as a whole. Google, Facebook, and Instagram have all taken steps towards this new harm reduction strategy, and Apple—perhaps giving into peer pressure—has been the latest to follow suit.
The initiative, entitled “Digital Health”, will be unveiled in fuller detail at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Diego later today. The revisions will be bundled into upgrades included in iOS 12, the newest rendition of Apple’s operating system. While the specifics of the program are not entirely clear yet, possible changes include a tracking system for monitoring time spent on devices, as well as alternative ways of silencing notifications.
You know it’s gotten pretty bad when even the people who make a living off of encouraging consumers to use these devices are now taking steps to make people use them less.