MIT students find shock therapy works against Facebook addiction

Pavlov Poke

The internet is loaded with plenty of ways that people can waste time. For some, it’s not that big of a deal, but if you’re doing something important or loaded with work, these distractions can prevent the real tasks from getting done. Facebook is the worst offender and two MIT PhD candidates decided to apply a little psychology to their own addiction.

Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff created Pavlov Poke, wrist rest that monitors how much time one spends on distracting sites like social networks. When they have reached their limit, it gives the user a shock to remind them that there’s work to be done.

Electric shock therapy may seem extreme, but these are extreme times. More people are spending more time doing pretty much nothing other than seeing pictures of little Timmy sliding into third base, so Pavlov Poke may be the right motivation to get productivity back on track. It harkens to the concepts of classical conditioning that Ivan Petrovich Pavlov made famous with his infamous dog.

Here’s a video of the device in action:

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Written by Michio Hasai

+Michio Hasai is a social strategist and car guy. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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