Google exec wrong about smartphone obsession remedy


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Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president overseeing product development, suggested recently that the three hours a day Americans spend buried in their mobile phones can be modified or eased by new Google apps that make things such as email or text alerts less intrusive to others.
 
In a nutshell, “good product design” is the answer to mobile device-induced social depravity and downright rudeness, not behavior.
 
Not according to our research. It’s a matter of mind not technology that has our addictive texting-obsessed culture reaching a compression point. When Broadway veteran Patti LuPone, during her performance in “Shows for Days” in New York, grabbed a phone from an audience member texting during her performance, the backlash against bowed-headed smartphone-obsessed users was swift, direct and scathing. It was, in effect, fiery consensus freed by a gutsy star who had this to say to Broadway.com:
 
“We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones…They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actor on stage.”
 
TRENDPOST: Toning down the lights, sounds and buzzes on mobile devices to make them less annoying to some may be a tech trend, but the larger trend line suggests many have had enough and are gaining the guts to stand up, speak out and turn the tide. Expect smartphone zones in small places like bars, clubs, restaurants and community theaters to become more pervasive. And expect more LuPone moments to fuel the progress. Ultimately, the technology wins, but along the way, more sanctuaries will be created to provide escape for many.

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