Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shock therapy for Facebook addicts

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If you find yourself wasting time on email or Facebook, a couple of PhD students at MIT have come up with a way to zap yourself back to more important matters. Their device, the Pavlov Poke, uses a mild electric shock when users stray into a distracting site.

Robert Morris and Dan McDuff designed the device to wean themselves off social-media sites and help them finish their dissertations. The Poke uses software that monitors which applications are running on a computer and a code with parameters establishing which sites and what frequency of visits would be considered distracting. If a site is visited too often, this activates a shock circuit that sends an electric current to the offender's hand through the computer's keyboard.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 21, 2013 D4

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