Two researchers at MIT have created the ultimate anti-Facebook app: a keyboard that shocks you when you try to log onto the popular social networking site.
Designed by Richard R. Morris and Dan McDuff, the app connects to your computer and watches what you're doing in your browser. When it senses that you're on Facebook, you get a shock.
It's called Pavlov Poke. Yeah, that Pavlov.
The pair created a video detailing their project. They built it when the realized that they both spent more than 50 hours on Facebook a week, making it a guilty pleasure that had turned into an addiction.
"While this project is intended to be a joke, we believe a serious discussion is needed about how communication technologies are designed," said Morris. He sees Facebook as being as addictive as cigarettes.
Did it work?
"We’re not sure. To be truly effective, many shock exposures are probably needed. Proper conditioning procedures should be followed. Sadly, we found the shocks so aversive, we removed the device pretty quickly after installing it. Anecdotally, however, I did notice a significant, though temporary, reduction in my Facebook usage," said Morris.
Sadly we can't buy a Pavlov Poke for ourselves -- but you can build one yourself if you're so inclined. If you're afraid of shocks, the researchers also built a system that makes a real person call your phone and chew you own for getting onto Facebook. Ain't technology grand?
Would you ever feel like you needed something this extreme to curb your Facebook usage?