For those whose lives are being lost in the maddening vortex of Facebook, a pair of PhD students at MIT have created “the Pavlov poke”.
They explain in a blog post:
If we visit Facebook too often, a nasty shock is sent through a peripheral device hooked up to our keyboard. The shock is not dangerous (we think), but it is definitely nasty enough to get your attention.
The experience was sufficiently unpleasant (I don’t think it’s a hoax), however, that the students quickly scrapped it.
Inspired by the example of one blogger “who hired someone to sit next to him and slap him in the face anytime he engaged in online distractions”, they reconfigured the device so a call centre was alerted when they overindulged on Facebook, and an operator called to shower them in abuse.
“Workers call your number and then yell at you, reading from a pre-written script designed to be maximally humiliating.”
So far, it seems to be working.