NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Have a bad habit you want to break? There are now wearable devices to help you do just that.
From bad posture to smoking, CBS2’s Dick Brennan explored how a zap on the wrist can help you get over it by “shocking the habit.”
“Oh it feels like someone is flicking you on your wrist, like “bad!’ ‘don’t!'” customer Marty Sanchez said.
Every time you feel a craving or engage in bad behavior, there’s a button to push on the Pavlok device for a shocking reminder to stop whatever it is. It can also be activated with an app and even controlled by someone else.
“It was shocking how strong it was,” customer Naomi Cohn said.
“A mild electrical sensation that’s just uncomfortable enough that when you pair it with the habit you’re trying to break trains your brain to have an aversion to that habit,” Pavlok Marketing Director Sims McGrath said.
McGrath said the severity of the shock is up to you. It’s the hi-tech update on the classic technique of snapping a rubber band on your wrist.
There are other devices that send a vibrating reminder to correct bad posture when it senses you slouching. You can also be shocked into paying attention in class by staying off apps like Facebook, or even prompted to go to the gym.
Dr. Harris Stratyner is a psychiatrist and said getting a jolt for behavior may not be enough.
“I’m not a big fan, and the reason I’m not a big fan is that I don’t feel that using behavior modification by itself is the best way to bring about change,” he said.
He adds that to correct serious problems, they need to be be be tackled from their emotional cause.
“You’re not really changing how you think, you’re not changing your life,” Stratyner said.
However, some users say they’ve successfully shocked their bad habits out of their system.
“I found myself at the end of the day not touching my hair at all,” user Naomi said.
“So far I’ve used it for about two weeks now– and it’s worked,” Sanchez said.
Pavlok costs about $200. It’s not recommended for those who have a pacemaker or may be pregnant. If you don’t want to get zapped, you can also set it to beep or vibrate.