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The business model for many internet companies, especially social media companies, is to capture as much of their users’ attention as possible. Some of these internet companies design their platforms and services to exploit brain physiology and human psychology. By exploiting psychological and physiological vulnerabilities, these design choices interfere with the free choice of users.

We are Offgridme, a non profit organization based in Geneva and Paris working on raising awareness about Problematic Internet Use, promoting Digital wellbeing and advocating for legislations to require social media companies to take measures to mitigate the risks of internet addiction and psychological exploitation.

 

 

HOW TO SPOT AN ADDICTIVE DIGITAL PRODUCT

Variable rewards

Likes and notifications give us the need to check our phones frequently

Feedback loop

Boredom is our worst enemy. Being hyperconnected helps keep us busy

Content never stops

With infinite scrolling and auto-play you are saturated with endless information

Vanity matrix

Arbitrary numerical goals like the number of followers and shares give us a dopamine hit

BEHAVIORAL DESIGN

It’s a framework for intentionally and systematically changing human behavior through persuasive modifications of the physical and digital environment.

Framework

It describes and predicts how and why people behave the way they do. It’s also a set of practices for changing those behaviors.

Intentional

Design and thinking tools are deliberately used to achieve specific behavioral outcomes

Systematic

Methods and ideas come from observations and experiments in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics.They explain how to achieve certain predictable behavior changes.

Change

It is all about behavior change. Tools are used  to increase or decrease behavior frequency, make people start or stop doing something, doing it once or often.

Persuasion

It uses insights about how the brain operates as strategies for persuading people to change their behaviors.

Environment

When you use your smartphone app, the environment is your app’s user interface. Behavioral Design proposes tools for strategically modifying how these environments look and feel and how they respond to our behavior.

Did you know?

 
 

%

Smartphone users checking their phone within 1 hour of waking or going to sleep.

%

Smartphone users checking their phone within 1 hour of waking or going to sleep.

%

Smartphone users who have attempted to limit their usage in the past.

Source: “Global mobile consumer survey 2016” by Deloitte.

 

WHAT WE DO

Aggregate the most relevant research and studies conducted about problematic internet usage.

Collaborate with partners on the subject of digital identity protection and the use of digital personal data.

 

Host contributions of experts in the field of digital addiction both in Switzerland and abroad.

 

 

Design information materials for families and schools.

 

 

 

Advocate for regulations to stop the use of addictive tricks inside digital products.

 

 

Consequences

 
Tech neck
Texting Thumb
 
 

Shortening our attention spans
Anxiety

Disrupted sleep
Insomnia