I have grown up in a time where technology has changed everything about our lives. It is difficult to consider any area of life that hasn't changed. But with that comes many considerations. We have gone beyond a point where technology simply improves our lives. It now caters for needs that we never knew we had and takes advantage of inherent flaws in our evolution.
Screen addiction is a logical consequence of our addiction to technology. Whereas once, we thought that being social required going out and meeting people, today social media means those deemed most popular can do so without ever leaving their houses or in fact meeting any of their followers. Screen addiction takes advantage of our subconscious desires, with companies pioneering 'Persuasive Design' as they fight to hook you in. An excellent article is provided by the BBC here.
Of course, there are many reasons that devices are essential for daily life. They have brought with them solutions that have pushed the world forward. The interesting thing is that we simply can't detach to the good from the bad. When I started the development of The Frequency Effect nearly seven years ago, there were early rumblings about the consequences of screen addiction. Throughout the development of the story, we then researched them further and brought together all the research on the topic. It is not a surprise that since launch the number of stories has rocketed and it is difficult to see it changing in the anytime soon.
The premise of the story then lends itself perfectly to the other main theme of the story. Mental illness has been a taboo in society for so long. Yet. often the mentally ill come up with revelations ahead of time. It felt a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of their struggles. Nikola Tesla is known for pioneering so much, but at the same time, had a breakdown and problems with mental illness.
So many people know people who have suffered from mental illness, yet they are less likely to know about what happens to them, the services allocated for them or the effects of the drugs that they are given. The Frequency Effect dramatises this lack of knowledge by providing an alternate reality.