Pavlov Poke Boosts Productivity by Giving Facebook Users Electroshocks
If your employees spend a lot of time on Facebook, when you would rather have them burn the candle at both ends, Pavlov Poke is the device you need, as it makes use of electric shocks to counter lack of productivity.
The Pavlov Poke keyboard accessory was invented by Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff, two Ph.D. candidates from MIT, in an attempt to keep themselves (and others) away from Facebook while working. Obviously, the name of this gadget is derived from the name of Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov, who gained fame with his conditioned reflexes experiments. Does the salivating dog ring a bell to you? The shocking solution to Facebook addiction that these two suggested involves something more than just ringing bells.
Furthermore, the device was inspired by a man who actually paid someone to slap him whenever he wasted his time on Facebook. Pavlov Poke does not rely on violence, but the mild electric shocks it sends when people are caught surfing on social media are not pleasant, either. Morris claims that each time he surfed Zuckerberg’s social network, he slipped into a weird hypnotic trance that only a device such as the Pavlov Poke could get him out of.
Together with McDuff, they waste 50 hours a week on Facebook, time that could be otherwise spent working or going out (speaking of which, StumbleUpon’s 404 page encouraged people to go out and play while they’re solving the problems). On his blog, Morris wrote: “I would be on Facebook, gorging on pet photos, stuck in some weird hypnotic trance, and it would be minutes or even hours before I realized I had no desire to be there in the first place. After a few shock exposures, these automatic behaviors seemed completely rewired. I no longer visited the site unless I wanted to…I still visited the site, but I wasn’t dragged there by some mysterious Ouija-esque compulsion.”
Pavlov Poke should be regarded as an exercise in creativity, instead of a cure for social media addiction or even more, a mass marketable product. Obviously, the device has already raised some controversy, but the two PhD candidates ensure that Pavlov Poke will never be more than just a design project. This is a pity, as some Facebook addicts could definitely make use of such an addiction-stopping device.