Smart phones give us a million ways to get information at all hours of the day. Our local elementary school has a web page, a Facebook account, a Twitter feed, an email newsletter, and text alerts. The same goes for the pediatrician’s office, my city government, and so on.
There are a lot of apps that let me get important updates about the things I care about. Unfortunately, once I learn that school is cancelled due to snow, my kid has pink eye and needs to stay home when I am expected at work, or they are closing a section of road leading out of town for six months for bridge repair, the same technological gifts have less to say about solving my next riddle: Now what? In fact, many apps seem more focused on keeping me moving on to the next quirky meme-photo and video than on helping me to cope with the information that I’ve been given.
The call has gone out for social media, especially, to start valuing its users’ focus, attention, and needs. A movement called “Time Well Spent,” founded by Tristan Harris, a former Design Ethicist at Google, is leading the charge to “demand better design” from technology companies. He asks probing questions intended to guide engineers to “think about what’s best for people, not what’s best for grabbing eyeballs.”
He wonders, “What if we designed devices for quick, in-and-out uses, not endless interactions? What if we designed social media…and made it easier to coordinate with others?” In other words, what if we designed a social network that respected your need for meaningful information, helped you make connections that accomplished actual goals, and removed filler content designed to serve advertisers rather than adults with busy lives and a lot on their minds?
Go2s is answering that call and taking steps to create a more seamless, fruitful connection between digital content and actual needs. So when that game-changing alert arrives on my phone, Go2s lets me use Help Requests to send out time-sensitive pleas for assistance. It allows me to apply thoughtful tags to all my contacts so I can direct my posts to the people (like “Close Go2s” or “Neighbor”) who can help me problem-solve, whether it be emergency child care or a new commuting route. When you find yourself asking, “Now what?” your answer starts with Go2s.