2014-2015 independent Thesis project
The Offline Kit
Problem and Research
In the past decade, there has been a profound increase in the use of mobile technology promising a globally connected world, yet statistics show that people are lonelier. Not only is our over-usage of technology inhibiting our ability to grow, it’s affecting the relationships we have, and understanding our own identity. For this project, I studied the human attachment to technology to examine the effects it has on one’s journey to self-discovery in order to spread awareness on the importance of disconnecting to develop personal growth, meaningful relationships, and on improving mindfulness. I found that the negative effects technology has on people is due to larger theories that lie under psychological, biological and sociological issues.
I became passionate about this topic because I felt that I was personally becoming too connected and reliant on technology. I found myself constantly online and didn't like how attached I was to my phone. I noticed more and more PSA videos that encouraged people to look up and realized this was a growing problem in our generation. The goal of my project is to encourage users to unplug from time to time. *Please note I am not saying that technology is evil. The Offline Kit merely targets those that are overly-attached and shows signs of negative effects from their usage.
I have 422 friends, yet I am lonely.
I speak to all of them everyday, yet none of them really know me.
The problem I have sits in the spaces between, looking into their eyes, or at a name on a screen.
I took a step back, and opened my eyes,
I looked around, and then realized
that this media we call social, is anything but
when we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut.
— Gary Turk
I decided to create a digital detox kit called 'The Offline Kit' to help people disconnect from technology to reconnect with themselves. The first part of the kit is The Offline Handbook which is essential in convincing the reader to why they should re-evaluate their usage and attachment first. The Offline Cards accompanies the handbook. It is the application part of the kit where it encourages the user for social and physical engagement (see more info below). The idea is that it would be sold in stores such Urban Outfitters, Chapters, Indigo, etc.
The components of the kit include:
• The Offline Handbook
• The Offline Cards game
• 80 category cards
• 100 Point chips
• 1 Whiteboard (for the game)
• 1 Dry-erase marker
The kit is hand-built from hardboard and painted to keep the branding consistent. I chose to create a slider-style lid with compartments for the different pieces and then used foam to keep the pieces snug and in-place.
The Offline Handbook
The Offline Handbook is a guide and journal that is here to inspire, empower, and teach you how to create a more mindful, meaningful and balanced life, both offline and online. The first part of the handbook informs and educates users about the effects technology has on them and on humanity. It introduces the reader to the different types of personality traits that contribute to the attachment of phones.
The second part acts more like a guide and includes tips on how to meditate, self-reflect, and also comes with a journal. All the titles are lettered-by hand aiming to create a very organic feeling to further promote disconnection with technology.
The Offline Cards
The Offline Cards is a game that keeps you mindful while you have fun. It promotes social and physical engagement with your friends, and you’ll get to learn more about the people that you’re playing with too. This game is to help you stay present, be mindful, and to look up with those around you, creating a more meaningful and balanced life.