【纽约时报】玩手机上瘾怎么破?

发表于 讨论求助 2019-09-10 16:38:56


不会上瘾的iPhone9S要来了?——手机戒瘾,苹果或成唯一希望


苹果是时候设计一款不易上瘾的iPhone了

撰文:Farhad Manjoo

译者:赵萌萌 & 邵海灵

校对:王津雨

策划:邹世昌


It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone

苹果是时候设计一款不易上瘾的iPhone了


文选自 The New York Times | 取经号原创翻译

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It’s not Apple’s fault that you feel enslaved by your phone. But the company that gave the world the modern smartphone has a perfect opportunity this year to create a brave and groundbreaking new take on that device: a phone that encourages you to use it more thoughtfully, more deliberately — and a lot less.

现代人总感觉自己被手机奴役了,但这锅不该由苹果公司背。不过,这家为世界贡献了现代智能手机的公司,今年倒有个勇开先河的绝佳机会:推出一款脱胎换骨的新手机,鼓励你在更多深思熟虑后,更谨慎地使用它——而且次数和频率都少得多。

deliberate /dɪˈlɪbərət / adj. unhurried; careful 不慌不忙的,小心翼翼的,审慎的


Tech “addiction” is a topic of rising national concern. I put the A-word in quotes because the precise pull that our phones exert over us isn’t the same as that of drugs or alcohol. The issue isn’t really new, either; researchers who study how we use digital technology have for years been warning of its potential negative effects on our cognition, psyche and well-being.

举国上下对科技“上瘾”的关注度是越来越高了。我给“上瘾”这个词加了引号,是因为准确来讲,手机对我们施加的影响和毒品或酒精还不一样。这个话题也是老生常谈了。多年来,研究我们如何使用电子设备的科研人员一直在警告公众,提防这些设备对我们认知能力和身心健康的潜在危害。

 

What is new is who has joined the ranks of the worried. Recently, a parade of tech luminaries, including several former Facebook employees, have argued that we’re no match for the sophisticated machinery of engagement and persuasion being built into smartphone apps. Their fears are manifold: They’re worried about distraction, productivity, how social networks alter our emotional lives and relationships, and what they’re doing to children.

不同于以往的是,如今有一批新成员加入了担忧的队伍。近期,包括几个Facebook前任员工在内的科技大佬集体发声,称智能手机应用的程序设定套路太深,它要说服你,提高你的参与度,三下两下就能把你绕进去,用户根本没有招架之力。他们担忧过度使用手机应用造成的注意力分散和生产力下降,担忧社交网络对情感生活和人际关系的扭曲,以及网络对儿童的影响。

luminary /luməˏnɛrɪ/ n. person who inspires or influences others 鼓舞或影响他人的人,名人,杰出人物

manifold / ˈmænɪfəuld / adj. of many types; many and various 多种的,繁多的,各种各样的


It’s hard to know what to make of these confessions of regret. Come on, guys — you gave us these wondrous machines, you made billions of dollars from their ubiquity, and now you tell us they’re bad?

到底是什么催生了这些悔恨自白,我们难以知晓。不过要我说:亲们,得了吧——是你们给了我们这些精妙绝伦的机器,也是你们从这些无处不在的智能设备里捞了个盆满钵满,到头来你们又说这些不是好东西?

wondrous /ˈwʌndrəs/ adj. good or impressive in a surprising way. 精巧的,精妙的


Also, what do we do about it?

还有,现在我们该怎么办?

 

Like air pollution or intrusive online advertising, tech addiction is a collective-action problem caused by misaligned incentives. Companies that make money from your attention — that is, ad-supported apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube — now employ armies of people who work with supercomputers to hook you ever more deeply into their services. Sure, we should call on them to act more ethically — and Facebook, for its part, has said it’s willing to lose money to improve its users’ well-being — but I’m skeptical they’ll be able to suppress their economic interests.

科技上瘾就像空气污染和强行植入的在线广告,是一种因动机不纯而产生的集体行为问题。那些利用你的注意力来牟取利益的公司——就是由广告商赞助的应用,比如Facebook、Instagram、Snapchat和Youtube之流——如今聘用了大批员工操作超级计算机,为的就是让你深陷他们的服务之中无法自拔。当然了,我们也可以呼吁这些公司表现得更道德一点——Facebook自己也表示,愿意削减利润来促进用户的身心健康——但他们能否按捺住对经济利益的渴求,我对此仍持怀疑态度。

Intrusive /ɪnˈtruːsɪv/ adj. affecting someone's private life or interrupting them in an unwanted and annoying way 打扰的,插入的


Government regulation and more restraint from users might also help, but the former is unlikely and the latter is insufficient. So who’s left?

政府监管与民众监督可能也有用,但前者未必会发生,后者又心有余而力不足。那剩下的还能有谁呢?

 

The same company that always seems to turn up when it’s time to cross into a new era of technology: Apple.

就是它——那个在科技更迭的浪潮中,永远冲在最前沿的弄潮儿:苹果。

 

I got to thinking about Apple’s responsibility last week when two large investors wrote an open letter asking the company to do more about its products’ effects on children. I was initially inclined to dismiss the letter as a publicity stunt; if you’re worried about children and tech, why not go after Facebook?

上周,两大投资方发表了一封致苹果的公开信,呼吁该公司采取行动,解决旗下产品对儿童造成的影响,这也促使我开始思考苹果公司应该承担的责任。本来我对这封信是不以为然的,不过是宣传噱头而已。你要真这么关心科技对儿童的影响,怎么不去找Facebook呢?

stunt / stʌnt / n. (a) thing done to attract attention 引人注意的举动: a publicity stunt 宣传噱头


But when I called several experts, I found they agreed with the investors. Sure, they said, Apple isn’t responsible for the excesses of the digital ad business, but it does have a moral responsibility to — and a business interest in — the well-being of its customers.

但后来我电话咨询了几位专家,他们和投资人的意见一致。当然,专家们说,苹果无需对网络广告行业的越界行径负责,但对客户的身心健康确实负有道德责任,而且这涉及苹果的商业利益。

 

And there’s another, more important reason for Apple to take on tech addiction: because it would probably do an elegant job of addressing the problem.

苹果公司之所以应采取措施解决科技上瘾的问题,还有一个更重要的原因是:它很可能会出色地完成这个任务。

 

“I do think this is their time to step up,” said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google who now runs Time Well Spent, an organization working to improve technology’s impact on society.

“我真的认为苹果是时候挺身而出了,”前谷歌设计伦理专家特里斯坦·哈里斯说。他现在是“合理利用时间”的负责人,该组织致力于改善科技对社会的影响。

 

“In fact,” Mr. Harris added, “they may be our only hope.”

“事实上,”哈里斯先生补充道,“苹果可能是我们唯一的希望。”

 

For one thing, Apple’s business model does not depend on tech addiction. The company makes most of its money by selling premium devices at high profit margins. Yes, it needs to make sure you find your phone useful enough to buy the next one, but after you purchase your phone and sign up for some of its premium services, Apple doesn’t really need you to overdo it. Indeed, because it can’t make infinite battery life, Apple would probably be O.K. if you cooled it with your phone a little.

首先,苹果的运营模式并不依赖于科技上瘾。它主要通过销售高端产品、获取高额利润来赚钱。没错,苹果需要确保用户觉得手机好用,这样用户才会继续购买下一部。但买完手机,订完增值服务,苹果就不再需要用户多做什么了。再说,苹果手机反正不能永久续航,所以如果你把手机放在一边晾一会儿,苹果应该是无所谓的。

 

Yet even though Apple is not part of the ad business, it exerts lots of control over it. Every tech company needs a presence on the iPhone or iPad; this means that Apple can set the rules for everyone. With a single update to its operating system and its app store, Apple could curb some of the worst excesses in how apps monitor and notify you to keep you hooked (as it has done, for instance, by allowing ad blockers in its mobile devices). And because other smartphone makers tend to copy Apple’s best inventions, whatever it did to curb our dependence on our phones would be widely emulated.

不过,苹果虽不插足广告生意,却对其有着不可小觑的控制力。每一家科技公司都需要在iPhone或iPad上拥有一席之地,这就意味着苹果可以给所有人设定规则。为了让你欲罢不能,手机应用对用户实施监控并发送通知的伎俩可谓无所不用其极,而只要升级一下操作系统和应用商店,苹果就能对其中一些最恶劣的过分行为加以约束(它已经这样做过了,比如说,在移动设备上允许广告拦截)。因为其他智能手机制造商往往会模仿苹果的最佳发明,所以不管它采取了什么手段来抑制用户对手机的依赖,都会成为争相效仿的对象。

curb  /kɜ:b/ v. to put down by force or authority; to place restrictions on 控制,抑制,限制


Mr. Harris suggested several ideas for Apple to make a less-addictive smartphone. For starters, Apple could give people a lot more feedback about how they’re using their devices.

哈里斯先生对苹果提出了几点建议,以制造一款不那么容易让用户上瘾的智能手机。第一,关于用户使用这些设备的情况,苹果可以给予用户更多反馈。

for starters: People say for starters to introduce the first thing or things in a series of things. (非正式的)首先,第一


Imagine if, once a week, your phone gave you a report on how you spent your time, similar to how your activity tracker tells you how sedentary you were last week. It could also needle you: “Farhad, you spent half your week scrolling through Twitter. Do you really feel proud of that?” It could offer to help: “If I notice you spending too much time on Snapchat next week, would you like me to remind you?”

想象一下,如果你的手机每周都会发一个报告,告诉你上礼拜时间花到哪儿去了,就像运动跟踪器会告诉你上礼拜久坐了多长时间。手机也可以刺激你一下:“法尔哈德,上周你有一半时间都在刷推特。怎么地,你还挺骄傲不成?”手机还可以提供帮助:“如果下周我发现你在Snapchat上花了太多时间,你想让我提醒你吗?”

 

Another idea is to let you impose more fine-grained controls over notifications. Today, when you let an app send you mobile alerts, it’s usually an all-or-nothing proposition — you say yes to letting it buzz you, and suddenly it’s buzzing you all the time.

还有一个办法是:让你对推送通知进行更加细化的控制。现在如果你允许应用给设备发通知,一般只有两个选择,要么什么都发,要么啥都没有——你选了“是”,允许震动提示,可没过一会儿,它就像只苍蝇似的在你耳边嗡个不停了。

 

Mr. Harris suggested that Apple could require apps to assign a kind of priority level to their notifications. “Let’s say you had three notification levels — heavy users, regular users and lite, or Zen,” Mr. Harris said.

哈里斯先生建议,苹果可以要求应用给推送通知设一个类似优先级别的分类:“比如你的推送有三个级别,分别针对重度用户、一般用户、轻度用户——或者要说佛系用户也可以。”

 

Apple could set rules for what kind of notifications were allowed in each bucket — for instance, the medium bucket might allow notifications generated by other people (like a direct message in Instagram) but not those from the app itself (Instagram just sending you an alert to remind you that your high school friend’s mom’s brother posted a new picture recently).

苹果可以制定规则,限定哪种推送可以发给哪类用户——比如说,一般用户可以允许系统发送其他人生成的推送(比如Instagram的直接消息,类似微信朋友圈的@功能),但不接受应用生成的推送(Instagram刚刚给您发送了一条提醒信息,您高中好友的妈妈的弟弟最近发布了一张照片)。

 

“And then Apple could say, by default, everyone is in the middle level — and instantly it could save a ton of users a ton of energy in dealing with this,” Mr. Harris said.

“然后比如说,苹果可以把所有人默认为一般用户——那立马就能让海量用户在应付这种事情时省下超多精力了。”哈里斯先生说。

 

There’s a danger that some of these anti-addiction efforts could get too intrusive. But that’s also why Apple would shine here; building a less-addictive phone is chiefly a problem of interface design, which is basically Apple’s entire corporate raison d’être.

在抵制手机成瘾所做出的努力中,有些可能会侵犯到应用或用户的权益。这种危险固然存在,但它也正是苹果能够脱颖而出的原因:制造一款不那么容易让人上瘾的手机,主要是一个界面设计的问题,而从根本上说,这是整个苹果公司得以存在的理由

raison d’être: a reason for existence 得以存在的理由


Another thing that Apple is good at is marketing, and I suspect it could make a lot of gauzy ads showing people getting more out of iPhones and iPads by unplugging from them for a little while. Note that it already sells a device, the Apple Watch, whose marketing extols the magic of leaving your phone behind.

苹果的另一个拿手好戏是营销。我估计它很可能会制作很多似是而非的广告,告诉人们暂时脱离iPhone和iPad反而会让你更有效率地使用它们。请注意,苹果手表的营销方式就是把放下手机的好处吹嘘得神乎其神。

gauzy / 'gɔːzɪ/ adj. marked by vagueness, elusiveness, or fuzziness 似是而非的,模糊的

extol / ɪkˈstəul / v. praise (sb/sth) highly 赞颂, 颂扬


Done right, a full-fledged campaign pushing the benefits of a more deliberative approach to tech wouldn’t come off as self-interest, but in keeping with Apple’s best vision of itself — as a company that looks out for the interests of humanity in an otherwise cold and sometimes inhumane industry.

如果方法得当、万事俱备,一场旨在推广慎用科技之益处的运动是不会以利己主义的面目出现在公众面前的,相反,它会因为符合苹果对其自身设定的最为宏大的愿景而大获成功——成为一家以人类福祉为考量、有人情味儿的公司,否则,这个产业将会变得冰冷无情,甚至人道沦丧。

 

“How we live with technology is the cultural issue of the next half-century,” said James Steyer, the founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that studies how children are affected by media.

“如何与科技共处,这是本世纪下半叶的文化难题。” 常识媒体公司的创始人和首席执行官詹姆斯‧史泰尔如是说。这是一家研究媒体对儿童影响的非营利机构。


He suggested that the feeling was ripe for Apple to tap into. “It’s something that everyone cares about — whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, liberal or conservative, whether you live in San Francisco or Biloxi, Miss., you know that you and your kids are part of the arms race for attention,” he said.

他认为苹果采取行动的时机已经成熟:“这是所有人的关心的问题——无论你是共和党还是民主党,自由派还是保守派,住在旧金山还是比洛克西,女士,你知道,在这场争夺注意力的军备竞赛中,你和你的孩子都是他们瞄准的目标。”

 

Apple released a statement last week saying it cared deeply “about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them,” adding that it had a few features on addiction in the works.

苹果于上周发布了一则声明,称他们深切关注“苹果产品的使用情况及其对用户和用户周边人群产生的影响”,并补充说,一些抵制手机成瘾的新功能已经在计划之中了。

 

Apple hardly ever talks about future products, so it declined to elaborate on any of its ideas when I called. Let’s hope it’s working on something grand.

苹果几乎从不谈论未来的产品,所以我打电话过去询问时,他们拒绝透露任何想法和细节。但愿一款惊世骇俗的新产品正在酝酿之中吧。


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<原文链接:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/technology/apple-addiction-iphone.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fpersonaltech>


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