2183: Icon Swap

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Icon Swap
Someone's probably working on an eBook app where, if you stop reading right before some plot twist happens, the app will wait a while and then send you a breaking news alert about what's happening, prompting you to open it and read the next few pages to learn more.
Title text: Someone's probably working on an eBook app where, if you stop reading right before some plot twist happens, the app will wait a while and then send you a breaking news alert about what's happening, prompting you to open it and read the next few pages to learn more.

Explanation[edit]

Randall denies having a social media addiction. However, he concludes that he must have some problem, as he opens his social media / news apps many times a day. He tries to remedy this addiction by rearranging the icons on his phone’s app launcher. Specifically, he swaps the app icon with that of an eBook reader, so opening the "social media app" would lead to the eBook reader, and vice versa. In this case, when he swaps a social media/news app with his E-book reading app, he ends up reading more books (as shown by the graph) because he is used to having his media app in its place, and is opening it up through muscle memory.

This results in the punch line, where he says that this causes him to read "a half-dozen" books before his muscle memory adjusts and not he stops opening his reader as often. Presumably, he changes the icons again in order to trick his muscle memory when he makes a conscious decision to read more books or use less social media.

In the title text, Randall says that there is probably an eBook app in development that will use "breaking news alerts", typically sent as push notifications, about what is happening in the book, to prompt readers to continue reading more pages. This parallels how a news app works, which would send an alert when a new event occurs.

This topic is similar to one he went over in 477: Typewriter, where he is compulsively trying to check news websites despite using a typewriter.

Transcript[edit]

[A histogram of books finished over time. Spikes occur at certain points, with arrows marked "Icon Swap" pointing to the point before them]
[Caption below the panel:]
I'm not saying I have a problem compulsively checking news and social media on my phone, but when I replace the social media app icon with my eBook reader, I read a half-dozen books before I get used to the change.


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Discussion

Re: hovertext: That's a really brilliant marketing campaign, right there... -- 162.158.126.46 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm not sure if it would have any marketing effect, but it definitely sounds as good idea. It doesn't need to be that clever at first either - just posting random sentence from next page is not that likely to be interesting, but even with 2% of success it would help a lot. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:07, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

I wouldn't be very surprised to see a book where each chapter actually started with a breaking news story. The reader would generally be following the protagonist around, but the articles would show what the rest of the world knows and so either show that something the reader knows is not widely known, or fill the reader in on events that are part of the plot, but where the protagonist was not present. Baldrickk (talk) 09:35, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Here's an idea. What if there was no "book" at all, but the story was pushed to your device in real-time coinciding with the unfolding of the plot. The push could happen either night or day depending on what is going on in the story. Rtanenbaum (talk) 12:57, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/twitter-reenactments?full=1

That’s a series of apps named Lifeline.