Are you an addict? Turns out we're all tech junkies

How many times have you looked at your phone today?

Chances are you're looking at it right now.

Before you try and deny you're addicted, here are some stats to consider:

Australian men unlock their phones more than anyone in the world - on average 45 to 46 times a day, while for Australian women it is around 42 times.

Those figures have been calculated by AntiSocial, an app developed by Melbourne software company Bugbean, to monitor people's use of social media.

It is a free app with no ads that is only available on Android because the creators say Apple does not allow such monitoring, but the idea is to encourage users to put down their devices.

Australians spend around two hours a day on apps

According to AntiSocial's developer Chris Eade, Australian men and women spend about two hours a day on their phones, and that is not including use for music streaming, video streaming, or making calls - that is pure Facebook, web surfing, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat.

VIDEO: Watch the discussion between Emma Alberici, Adam Atler and Katina Michael (Lateline)

Adam Alter, from the Stern School of Business, has written a book called Irresistible - why we can't stop checking, scrolling, clicking and watching.

He told Lateline around 50 per cent of the adult population has some form of behavioural addiction.

"I think you can ask yourself if you have a problem and you'll know," he said.

"[People] feel that their lives are being encroached upon by devices, their social lives, maybe their relationships with their loved ones and friends. They're not experiencing nature. They're not exercising."

Our boredom threshold at rock bottom

Mr Alter said smartphones have changed human behaviour so much that we no longer allow ourselves to experience being bored.

"Our boredom threshold has declined to the point where you'll get in an elevator for five seconds, take out your phone," he said.

Hooked on social media

All in the Mind zooms in on the relationship between social media use and our mental health.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/hooked-on-social-media/7885492

"Boredom is very important for productivity, for creativity and new ideas, and if you never allow yourself to be bored, you will never have those ideas."

Mr Alter has written about a private school near Silicon Valley that uses no technology, yet surprisingly 75 per cent of the students' parents work in the tech sector.

"You'd think their children would be the biggest users of tech. But what you actually find, it's the reverse that a lot of these tech titans refuse to let their kids near technology," he said.

"Steve Jobs in 2010 in an interview said things like, 'you should use this device, but we do not allow it in our home and we won't let our kids near it'. He was talking about the iPad."

How to break up with your device

Katina Michael, from the University of Wollongong's School of Computing and IT, specialises in online addiction, and she told Lateline that tech companies have a lot to answer for.

"I think it's extremely hypocritical," she said.

"The laptop's not made you smarter and more intelligent. I think the companies that Adam was talking about need to recheck their ethics and I think our children need to stop being sold the wrong story about what is going to make their future brighter. We have a lot to answer for as academics."

Professor Michael had this advice for tech addicts looking to wean themselves off their devices:

"Think about replacing the activities that you have done online with offline activities, whether it's going for physical exercise, joining a community group or just getting a job, or just speaking with your family and making real food instead of playing a game about making food," she said.

If you're still questioning whether or not you're addicted, compare how you stack up to AntiSocial's biggest user.

"Our biggest user we have at the moment is a woman in America who uses her phone for 7.5 hours a day, every day on average," Mr Eade said.

"That's a full time job."

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-25/are-you-an-addict-how-australians-are-tech-junkies/8554532

Overcoming Social Media Addiction with the AntiSocial App

Citation: Katina Michael with Shaun White, "How much do we actually use our phones?", Sunrise: Channel 7, May 10, 2017, https://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/watch/35366754/how-much-do-we-actually-use-our-phones/#page3.

Human Microchips: Employers Going Too Far

download.jpg

Human microchip implants have been around for awhile, used by home automation enthusiasts and biohacking movements. But Swedish company Epicenter is taking the technology to a whole new context as a workplace monitoring tool.

The microchips have been implanted into 150 employees and will enable them to open doors, use photocopiers and make purchases from the company cafe. However, privacy is a concern for many people.

Professor Katina Michael joined Nic to discuss the importance of personal choice in using implantables and the problems that may arise when companies and governments use the technology for potentially nefarious purposes.

Citation: Katina Michael with Nick Healy, "Human Microchips: Employees Go Far", 2SERFM Breakfast, May 5, 2017, 6.45-6.50am, http://2ser.com/human-microchips-employers-going-far/, Producers: Jennifer Luu.

What is the Internet doing to our heads?

We spend more time online than offline, so what is all this screen time doing to our heads?

Presenter/Producer: Cheyne Anderson
Presenter: Ellen Leabeater

Speakers:
Lawrence Lam - Professor of Public Health, University of Technology Sydney
Katina Michael - Professor, School of Computing and IT, University of Wollongong
David Glance - Director Centre for Software Practice, University of Western Australia

Think: Digital Futures is supported by 2SER and the University of Technology Sydney.

2ser.com/thinkdigitalfutures

Consider following below on SoundCloud.

Citation: Cheyne Anderson, Ellen Leabeater, Lawrence Lam, Katina Michael, David Glance, April 23, 2017, "What is the Internet doing to our heads?", 2SERFM Think: Digital Futures, https://soundcloud.com/thinkdigitalfutures/what-is-the-internet-doing-to-our-heads

Nice to see it made available here also: https://www.ivoox.com/what-is-the-internet-doing-to-our-heads-audios-mp3_rf_18287880_1.html

When Google Maps Gets it Wrong

Citation: Katina Michael, Wendy Harmer, "When Google Maps Gets it Wrong", ABC Sydney Mornings, ABC Sydney 702, 9.10am -9.23am, April 21, 2017.

Background:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/technology-explained-google-maps-work/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Maps

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-19/darwin-man-sick-of-pizza-enquiries-due-to-google-error/8454580

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/3094088?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6194894?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/7084895?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

https://www.buchananpr.com/2013/11/4-steps-to-take-when-google-maps-gets-it-wrong