In an act of meaningful vandalism, we went out into the streets of Lisbon in the middle of the night and pasted up hundreds of posters bearing messages that directly question our current relationship with technology, what some leading minds have described as the great addiction of the 21st-Century.
The aim was to make people compare their real lives to their virtual ones, sparking healthy debate on the subject and leading people to see that their addiction to technology (mobile tech in particular) is preventing them from living their lives to the fullest: rich in human connection, and in the moment.
- We now spend an average of a day a week online.
- The average user logs 2.15 hours a day on social media alone and checks their smartphone every 12 minutes.
- A 2016 study estimates that we tap, swipe and click on our devices 2,617 times each day.
- 34% of people have checked Facebook in the last ten minutes.
- Two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, rising to 65% of those aged under 35.
- 62% of polled UK adults say they ‘hate’ how much time they spend on their phone.
- A study found that just seeing the Facebook logo can spark cravings that are difficult to ignore.
- 46% of Americans say they could not live without their mobile phones.
- 69% of UK children say their parents spend too much time on their mobile device at home.
- UK adults spend an average of 8 hours 41 minutes a day on screens (more time than they are asleep).
- UK children spend 6 1/2 hours a day on screens.
- Almost half of 18-34 year olds said their social media feeds made them feel unattractive.
- A study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that heavy social media users were twice as likely to report experiencing social isolation.
- In 2017, Instagram was rated as the worst social media platform for its impact on the mental health of young people.
- There is a strong link between heavy internet use and depression, with heavy users 5x more likely to suffer from depression than non-heavy users.
- 52% of school-age students said social media makes them feel less confident about their appearance and how interesting their life is.
- Scientists have also found a link between heavy Facebook use and depressive symptoms, including low self-esteem.
- A study has shown that as mobile phone use increases, so does anxiety.
- Staying off all social media for a week has been shown in a study to increase happiness.
- Teens deemed addicted to their smartphones recorded significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior and insomnia.
- New research by Nottingham Trent University finds that a third of the smartphone notifications we receive worsen our mood.
- Human average attention spans have declined significantly in the 11 years since smartphones existed and are now lower than that of a goldfish.
- Skills in critical thinking and analysis have declined as our use of technology has increased.
- A link has been found between excessive social media use and poor academic performance.
- The act of just receiving a notification, even if you don’t reply to it, is enough to severely distract you.
- Neuroimaging research has shown that excessive screen time actually damages the brain. (Structural and functional changes have been found in brain regions involving emotional processes, executive attention, decision making and cognitive control).
- 47% of adults miss out on sleep due to internet usage.
- 95% of adults in a US study admitted to using some type of screen in the hour leading up to bed*. (*Artificial blue light emitting from screens increase alertness and suppresses the hormone melatonin by up to 22% which negatively impacts sleep).
- A recent study showed that teenagers with screen time of more than four hours per day were 3.5x more likely to get poor sleep – sleeping fewer than five hours at night. They were also 49% likelier to need more than one hour to fall asleep.
- A UCLA study found that pre-teens who were deprived of screens for five days through a digital detox were much better at reading people’s emotions (non-verbal skills) than children who continued using screens.
- 6 out of 10 Americans wish their family members would unplug from technology more often.
- 60% of UK parents believe their child spends too much time on their mobile device at home.
- A US survey found that more than 73% of young adults (under 30) suffer from symptoms of digital eye strain from screen overuse, including dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, neck and back pain, and headaches.
- 60% of people say a traditional vacation/holiday does not relieve their stress with many admitting to checking emails and taking phone calls while away, sometimes multiple times a day. A digital detox deals with computer addiction by removing all work-related communications allowing a proper break.
- Fifteen per cent of UK adults say being constantly connected makes them feel they are always at work.
- Checking work emails decreases your focus, as well as making you more stressed.
- 31% of internet users miss out on spending time with friends and family.
- More than half of UK adults (54%) admit that connected devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with friends and family.
- 21% of UK children feel their parents don’t listen to them properly because they’re constantly picking up emails, calls or texts on their mobiles.
We took action on public spaces, with homemade organic wheat paste and thoughtful consideration throughout the whole movement – trying our best to keep this a victimless crime.
Original creative concept by Tomaz Castelão / Produced by Tomaz Castelão and Marco Espirito Santo / Written, Shot, and Directed by Marco Espirito Santo / Voice-Over by CL Neal / Music: “Heat Stroke” by Black Math, via MusicBed. / Grading by Paulo Inês at Light Film / Sound Design by Vítor Mingates at Ameba / Animation and Title Design by EasyLab (André Jesus, Jerónimo Rocha, Margarida Roxo, Vasco Ruivo) / Super 8 processing and Telecine On8Mil.
Special, special thanks to Miguel Rebelo da Silva at Take It Easy, Martim Yglésias and João Lemos.
Thanks to: João Pinheiro at Light Film, André Gouveia and Cristina Soares at Ameba, BYD - Boost Your Digital, Catarina Mendes de Almeida, Diogo Corte, Salvador Menezes, Madalena Silva, Simão Zanatti, Gonçalo Abreu Lima, Diogo Hasse Ferreira, Tomás Aguiar, Manel Bello, Francisco Leal Coelho, David Rodrigues, Sofia Muller e Sousa, Miguel Castelão, Afonso Castelão, Catarina Gil, Katherine Masters and all others involved.