The Current

How 'calm technology' pulls attention from online temptation

If the digital revolution has left you distracted, constantly interrupted, and unable to concentrate, you're not alone. Today The Current explores 'calm technology' and speaks to technological pioneers who say our devices should learn to respect our time and attention.
Online distraction has spawned a new attraction that involves companies making money by helping you ignore incoming data online. Welcome to the world of anti-technology technology. (Matthew G/Flickr cc)

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If you've ever considered going on a digital detox, there's a camp for that!  Perhaps that comes as no surprise as increasingly people are glued to smartphone screens.

But when it comes to the problem of scattered attention and rising screen-time stress, taking a digital detox isn't a practical solution for some people.

Fear not. Anti-technology technology can come to the rescue.

There's a new generation of technology pioneers working to put us back in control of our own time and attention with apps designed to keep its users off the internet. 

Experts say in the future, users have to adapt to digital technology to ensure our devices actually working for us - not the other way around.

Guests in this segment:

  • Fred Stutzman, CEO of Freedom, an app that lets users block themselves from accessing the Internet.
  • Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Time Well Spent campaign. 
  • Peter Reiner, professor at the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia. 

What do you think needs to change to make our relationship with technology a healthy one? Are we already there? Or do we just need to turn off and tune out? 

Grab your smartphone and send us an email. Find us on Facebook or on Twitter @TheCurrentCBC.

This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley.