In her TED talk Connected, but alone? Sherry Turkle suggests that while emailing, texting, and social networks used to help us maintain and grow relationships, they have now become a social crutch. By replacing real world interaction with virtually mitigated interactions she argues that the digital world is making us less social.
In my personal life checking emails, messages, and facebook notifications on my phone had become so common place that the physical act of reaching for my phone and unlocking the screen had morphed into a near subconscious ritual. I realized that if I could create some physical manifestation of my usage, I might be able recognize bad behaviors and self correct.