There’s just too much white noise. You wake up and there are text messages. Some are slurred incoherent phrases written by friends who missed you last night. Some are questions wondering if you have time to meet for coffee this afternoon, to see a movie in the evening, to come to work because someone called out. Then there are the e-mails. The list of little blue dots that remind you how you haven’t spent enough time waiting at your computer for business inquiries, transactions, and confirmations. Then there’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, et al to check.
It goes without saying that we are a culture plagued with nomophobia, a term used to diagnose our increasing anxieties with being apart from our mobile devices. We are now hyper-invested in computers, smart phones and social media platforms because they appeal to us in more ways than one: they provide myriad windows and doors for connectivity, inclusivity, learning, and democracy; the illusion that we are now moving forward towards one great magnificent utopia. We can online-shop for companionship and romantic partners. Comment boxes provide us with a platform to share our voice and a guarantee that we will be heard. When the name of an actor escapes our mind, instead of taking the time to think, I mean really think and locate where that name is filed in our memory banks, we pull out our phones and have the name in less than ten seconds. When we are dumped and broken-hearted, instead of devoting an obligatory month to sulking in our underwear with too many bottles of wine and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, feeling as if having to live another day without our ex-lover would kill us, we have an entire world online to console us; unrequited love has never been so easy. The internet and social media promise us convenience, immediacy, and a strange togetherness that backhandedly erodes our capacity for empathy by giving us new guises in place of it (a like, a comment, a re-tweet).
One company has come up with a response to cyber intensive world, and it’s called REALISM. A sleek, modern lightweight frame that’s the same size as a smartphone, Realism is a product manufactured to vaguely resemble a smartphone, sans the anxieties that come with having a smartphone. In other words: it’s a piece of plastic that encourages you to participate in your life — as you should be doing — without the shield of a little screen.
Why Realism? Because the sad truth and hard facts look a little something like this:
- There are over a billion smart devices in use today and there will be 10 billion in five years.
- Most users check smart devices 120-180 times a day – no surprise given checking emails triggers the same neurons/response mechanism as gambling.
- Youth 8-18 are on screen time 55+ hours a week (more than a full time job).
- A recent study showed that 40 out of 55 parents ignored their children at a restaurant to spend more time with their cell phones.
- 66% of users suffer from nomophobia.
While Realism is more or less just a piece of plastic, its intentions are sincere. Technology has become such a cultural norm and staple in everyday life that we often forget how technology isolates us from the world. Recording an event or concert through your phone is not the same as watching the scene in front of you unfold. Realism is an effort towards stepping away from our phones and seeing reality for what it is. Not to mention the company’s tongue-in-cheek list for product features, which is kind of cute! See the list of product features below:
- Allows users to connect with, and be present for, the people and things that are most deserving of their attention.
- Loaded with the best apps in the world for sound, sight and taste, it enables users to frame and enjoy the world right in front of them, capturing the possibility and beauty of every moment without a filter.
- Never drops a call and never runs out of charge. Powered by the human brain and heart that is the most powerful processor in the world; the human brain whose capacity is far greater than a computer (a comparable device would take up a city block, be cooled by a river and have to be energized by a nuclear power plant)
- Never freezes, rings or vibrates at the wrong time.
- Allows one to participate in one’s life real time, not just observe or record.
For more information on Realism, please visit http://RealismSmartDevice.com.