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

Living In A Smart World

Key Link

Authors

Author: Tiffany Hoy, Editor: Wang Yuanyuan, Global Times - Xinhua China
Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong

Abstract

As "smart" devices continue to advance, government regulation is lagging far behind, leaving citizens vulnerable to giving away their private information without their knowledge, said Katina Michael, vice chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation.

People sometimes don't even know what embedded sensors are in the devices that they're carrying, Michael said, but the information that they record can be pieced together to create a frightening surveillance profile. "There are many social implications if I know your whereabouts 24 x 7. I can track your location history, for example -- I know exactly where you were on the Earth's surface, I know how fast you were traveling which tells me your mode of transport, if any, and I'm probably able to infer what you were doing," said Michael.

"If I know through the devices that you're carrying: who you are -- through your ID, where you are -- through GPS or wifi enablement, when you were there -- through a timestamp, and what you were doing -- through the visual imagery you are taking photos or records of, then we pretty much know what is actually in your mind," she added.

Moving towards a more transparent society, where mobile recording devices can be used to capture what's happening at any given time -- with life-bloggers recording every waking moment through autography devices, and police use dashboard cameras and headsets to record video later used as evidence in court, also comes with a trade-off: the erosion of personal privacy.

"There's an asymmetry involved here. The wearer of these wearable devices is always a more powerful constituent in this relationship. Those individuals who choose not to be a part of this new information society may find themselves on the wrong side of any particular imbalance," Michael said. "The asymmetry gets greater and greater as the number of devices grow, (between) those that have wearables and those who don't, and those who don't wish to participate and live off-grid. "Yes we understand that once we step out our front door we can' t expect privacy. But private things can be gathered, such as the clothes that we wear, the places that we frequent, if I want to go to a religious building on a weekend ... I should have an expectation of privacy and there should not be recordings of me going about my everyday life," she added.

Suggested Citation

Global Times - Xinhua China and Katina Michael. "Living in a smart world" Global Times Jun. 2013.

Glogging Your Every Move

Key Link

Authors

Lisa WachsmuthIllawarra Mercury
Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong

Article comments

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/956192/glogging-your-every-move/?src=rss

Abstract

"It is one thing to lug technologies around, another thing to wear them, and even more intrusive to bear them... But that's the direction in which we're headed."

"I think we're entering an era of person-view systems which will show things on ground level and will be increasingly relayed to others via social media.

"We've got people wearing recording devices on their fingers, in their caps or sunglasses - there are huge legal and ethical implications here."

Suggested Citation

Lisa Wachsmuth and Katina Michael. "Glogging Your Every Move" Illawarra Mercury: News Nov. 2012: 10. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kmichael/298

Full article in text here:

YOU wake up, it's a hot day so you put on your smart clothes that keep you cool; you lace up your smart shoes which track your movements while every moment of your day is recorded via an implant in your eyeball.

Sounds like science fiction but the technology is already available and it won't be long before body wearable - and implantable - technologies are ever present, according to a University of Wollongong academic.

Associate Professor Katina Michael said people were already comfortable "wearing" devices like pedometers and iPods - and there were even a number of "voluntary microchip implantees" including Australians.

"It is one thing to lug technologies around, another thing to wear them, and even more intrusive to bear them," she said. "But that's the direction in which we're headed."

Emerging body-wearable technologies were becoming more sophisticated and less visible, said Prof Michael, who will host an IEEE International Symposium of Technology and Society in Canada next year.

"You already see people running around with iPod pockets around their arms, or with a heart-rate monitor on at the gym," she said.

"Over the next few years these devices will become less obvious and more integrated with our clothing and accessories. We'll be wearing smart necklaces and earrings, smart glasses and headbands, smart shoes and belt buckles.

"These smart devices will make 'augmented reality' a part of our daily lives; we'll be able to take photos and video, to collect geographical data about where we've been and physiological data such as our heart rate."

A lot of this technology is already in use - extreme sports people wear cameras with built-in GPS; police officers use special sunglasses to record situations and location-based shoes monitor people with dementia.

"Most of these devices were developed for the military and are now enjoying popularity as commercial devices," Prof Michael said.

She collaborates with Prof Steve Mann from the University of Toronto, who is renowned for his eyetap device - a bit like the Google glasses available to buy in 2014 - which he uses to record his life.

"Steve coined the term 'sous-veillance' which unlike surveillance - watching from above - is about watching from below, by having a camera looking out from your body," she said.

"There's already many 'life bloggers' or 'gloggers' who record their lives - it's a bit like having a black box recorder on your person.

"I think we're entering an era of person-view systems which will show things on ground level and will be increasingly relayed to others via social media."

However, the technologies were emerging so fast that the laws - and social mores - surrounding them could not keep up.

"We've got people like Jonathan Oxer, an Australian who has a microchip implanted in his arm so he can open the door to his house without a key," she said.

"We've got Canadian film-maker Rob Spence who replaced his false eye with a camera-eye so he can record everything he sees.

"We've got people wearing recording devices on their fingers, in their caps or sunglasses - there are huge legal and ethical implications here."