Can the same devices that ensure we’re “always on” also allow us to get in touch with experiences which far predate digital culture?
Technology has accelerated the pace of daily life, culminating in many people feeling an oppressive speed which leaves them with not enough hours in the day. In light of this, it is certainly refreshing to see the Huffington Post chronicle products and services which use technology to put us back in touch with elements of the human experience which have been trampled under the relentless march of technology.
We’re used to the constant interruptions which technology (especially the latest breed of always on smart phone) foist upon us, often with an unwelcome frequency. Ronit Herzfeld’s Awareness app takes this same interruption method but uses it as a vehicle to focus attention inwards, randomly popping up (between one and 24 times in the day) and asking users what they are feeling right at that present moment.
The app is clearly indebted to the Mindfulness school of emotional awareness, which endeavours to encourage those who practice it to draw their attention back to the here and now, as creator Ronit Herzfeld explains:
“The idea is to bring people back to the present moment and to force them to reflect on the elusive, impermanent nature of their emotions. After recording their emotions users can also journal their emotions to understand their own patterns of reactiveness.”
The product shares hallmarks with other quantified self-inspired mental well being services such as Moodscope: the service has spawned the Global Emotional Awareness Movement; they map what emotions other people have logged recently. In so doing this app uses the connectivity of personal digital devices to push the tenets of mindful attention into new territory