Some of us are motivated to be better versions of ourselves by gentle encouragement, like a smiley face on a sticky note or a #motivationalmonday idiom, while others reach their make-it-work moment through tough love. And if you’re one of those peops who needs shoo-ing and boo-ing to quit biting your nails or to tie up your running shoes and sweat it out, then Pavlok, the wearable that *actually* shocks you when you fail to reach your goals, *might* be the stern solution for you.
The smart wristband ain’t your average activity tracker. Unlike a JawboneUP or FitBit that monitors your moves, Pavlok is designed to help change your behavior. Through its companion app (more on that in a bit), the device can be programmed to evaluate specific actions to help you form healthier habits like waking up earlier or conquering digital distractions. But watch out if you fail to follow through, because giving in to temptation isn’t an action that Pavlok takes lightly. If you ignore its first few vibration warnings it can cause a scene by making noise, shame you on your Facebook profile and even deliver a legit electric shock straight to the wrist. That negative reinforcement, according to Pavlok’s creator, is the trick to incentivise you to for-real just do it. Um… yeah??!
But really, guys, are we sooo super lazy that we need our wearables to give us wince-inducing flashbacks to high school where nuns wielded rulers around the classroom (just me?). We get the psychology that we’re compelled to act when there’s something serious on the line, but to us, this tech-inflicted harm is just extreme. That’s why we’re much bigger fans of Pavlok’s app than the device itself. Similar to 43 Things or Pact, it offers social support by tapping you into a virtual community where other need-to-be-motivated minds can hold you accountable for what you say you’ll do (and you them). We really, really hope they’re the voices of reason that real-talk you into healthy habit forming. ‘Cause relying on a physical jolt seems like the exact opposite of that.
Are you guys on the same page? Do you think this form of motivation is wayyy intense? Or would you be down to get zapped for sneaking a cookie or sleeping in? Tell us in the comments below.