Tools that incentivize social media users to hang out face-to-face from time to time.
Tech addiction is becoming a real problem that has been tackled numerous times on this platform:
Can we come up with a way to protect children from tech addiction?
How can we protect the kids from tech addiction if they need it to fit in with their peers?
A miniature stickman that tries to unhook you from social media addiction
Instagram addiction deterrent app
Accessible ways to combat social media addiction?
A Controlled Social Media Platform/Feature to Limit Use and Prevent Addiction
Phone unlock function that keeps you aware of screen addiction
A service providing themed "no digital technology" retreats
A phone feature that displays social media posts in low resolution to make the apps less addictive
Signs "prohibiting" phone use in places convenient for social interactions
Whenever you check social media, an app charges you money that gets locked in a Bitcoin wallet for 10 years
All of these sessions/ideas tackled certain aspect of tech addiction. What they all have in common is that they tend to reduce the time spent using technology. However, what if that's not possible? How can we tackle the problem by not actively reducing the time spent using the tech?
Since most of the users use technology either to access information or to maintain relationships and create new ones, I would incentivize face-to-face meetings by fun features on social media messaging.
The first thing that crosses my mind is the days-in-a-streak feature that enables you and your chat pal to "collect" the streak of days you spent together hanging out. Every time you hang out face-to-face, you touch your phones and it adds a day to your face-to-face hangout counter. It would work similar to the Snapstreaks, a feature where you need to message your pal at least once every 24h to maintain the streak. The hangout streak could be maintained by every day or a once-a-week contact, based on your settings. That way users would gamify their face-to-face relationships, while spontaneously reducing the on screen time.
Since most of the social networks already use your location to give you some suggestions, I would create a tool that recognizes your friends passing or being near you and suggest a face-to-face meeting. That way, instead of sending a message, you could go and grab a coffee.
What do you think? Can you think of more ways how to incentivize face-to-face hangouts on social media?