Making alarm clocks for mobile operating systems like Android and iOS is some pretty serious business, as I’ve found out. If you don’t believe me, just do a quick search in your respective app store for “alarm clock”, and you’ll quickly notice that you’ll be scrolling for quite a while. Some alarm clocks are the same; some are pretty different.
Then there are also those which take a completely different approach to getting you up in the morning (or evening, for those who happen to be working night shifts). I’ve received a friendly tip for an Android alarm clock app which takes a very unique but intriguing approach to the whole idea of motivation – using social pressure.
About Social Pressure
What the heck do I even mean when I say social pressure? Well you’ve heard of social media or social networks, haven’t you? “I Will Wake Up!”, the alarm clock app in question, gives you new motivation to wake you up by posting all about your hopes of not oversleeping on your Facebook wall. The idea is that when you post that you wish to wake up on time, you’ll feel the pressure of all your friends knowing what you plan on doing.
This pressure exists because there’s always the risk that you do oversleep. “I Will Wake Up!” will post the result of your goal, whether it’s good or bad. You don’t want all your friends to know that you’ve overslept, and the app will post it if you do, so your brain should be telling you to get up!
“I Will Wake Up!”, which is currently available for Android, can be found here. Simply follow the link on your Android device to point the Play Store to the correct app, or follow it using your regular computer and click on the available “Install” button to automatically send the installation request to your device. There’s nothing more you need to do, so once it completes, go ahead and launch it.
On first launch, you’ll be asked to create a new wakeup “challenge”. In the following screen, you’ll be asked for which time you’d like to wake up and for what reason(s). You’ll also be asked for a consequence which you’ll be socially pressured into completing if you fail, and for a way people can help you wake up if they think you might not succeed.
Once you fill in everything it asks for, you post it to your Facebook profile to let all the social pressure begin. When it’s time for you to wake up, you’ll need to complete three math problems in order to successfully dismiss the alarm and post your success. If you fail to do so in a timely manner, a failure notice will be posted to your Facebook profile along with the consequence you said you’d complete (for example, “I will wash my friend’s car before the end of the day“). If no one takes notice then you’ll have lucked out, but more than likely there will be a few people who will be commenting until you actually complete the task.
By repetitively going through this process of having to do a consequence because of oversleeping, you’ll eventually teach your body (or brain) a lesson to actually get up when your alarm clock rings. I think this is a very interesting twist to the idea of alarm clocks and a funny but unique use of social networks. I’d definitely recommend that people give it a try, because this one has potential to work for a lot of people. Plus, it actually looks really nice in addition to its ease of use.
What do you think of the idea of “social pressure”? Do you think it’s a helpful force in getting you to do things you want or need to do? In what other settings could social pressure be used? Let us know in the comments!