Phubbing?

Phubbing?

This project focused on people who have difficulty balancing the competing demands of living in a modern society. When people have multiple strivings that conflict with one another, i.e., when they have conflicting life-goals such as meeting a deadline vs. spending time with friends, they can experience fear of failure as well as fear of missing out. Such conflicts among life-goals fixate people on the lack of resources (e.g., time and money), and thus, they can threaten mental wellbeing. In contrast, focusing on developing personal strategies to balance conflicting life-goals can enhance mental wellbeing.

The AttentionSeeker is an interactive coaster that can be placed on the table in social venues such as café’s or meeting rooms. It responds to mobile-phone usage within its surroundings. A radio-frequency detector recognizes when mobile phones are being actively used and a small mechanism allows the device to move around and to grab people’s attention. This design intervention confronts people with their urge to constantly check their phone – a behavior modernly known as phubbing. The main goal is to trigger people to be more conscious about their smartphone usage.

This project was collaboratively carried out by Delft Institute of Positive Design and Trimbos Institute. Trimbos Institute is a mental-health organization that aims to support mental wellbeing. Trimbos believes that mental health can be trained just like physical health, and they propose (online) advice to people on what kind of strategies they can use to achieve mental fitness. Supporting people in managing important life goals plays an important role in achieving mental fitness. By adopting a conflict perspective on multiple life goals, this project could contribute to the list of mental fitness strategies proposed by Trimbos. 


Next case: Better Safe than Sorry