INDIA: Earlier this month, an Indian-American entrepreneur made headlines after it was revealed that he had once hired a woman to slap him every time he used Facebook.
The man, identified as Maneesh Sethi, also won praise from Tesla founder Elon Musk who tweeted two fire emojis, applauding his unique strategy to improve productivity. Maneesh’s now-viral experiment became the foundation for the company he built, called Pavlok.
In a tweet, he had explained that Pavlok zaps its customers with electric shock for sleeping in or wasting time on Facebook.
The story of Maneesh Sethi, the computer programmer who hired a woman to slap him in the face every time he used Facebook, resulting in massive productivity increase [read more: https://t.co/Q5fKjYtFSo] pic.twitter.com/d8pnt3Jd8k
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) November 10, 2021
In a recent interview, Maneesh revealed he decided to take the extreme step in order to prevent himself from unproductive scrolling on social media.
Speaking to Vice, Maneesh said that after using a time management app called RescueTime, he found that he was wasting 19 hours a day.
Maneesh said, “It made me realise I suck at working by myself so I needed someone who would make me work. So, I went to Craigslist and put up an advertisement titled ‘Slap me if I get off task’ for $8 an hour.”
I'm also having that disease of scrolling social media 10hrs a day. But I can't afford 8$/day scheme. Please help me with some new ideas
— Shangkhu debbarma (@ShangkhuD) November 19, 2021
What inspired Maneesh to choose the slapping method of keeping him from spending time on Facebook? The entrepreneur revealed that it was the culture of slap bets, a gamble where the loser ends up receiving a tight slap. This was popularised by the show How I Met Your Mother.
Maneesh’s story may have resonated with several netizens who probably feel the same way. The tweet that received Elon’s comments, also featured other netizens who expressed solidarity with Maneesh. As one user had confessed, “I’m also having that disease of scrolling social media 10hrs a day. But I can’t afford the $8/hour scheme. Please help me with some new ideas.”
Talking about the relevance of his social experiment, Maneesh told Vice that it has a natural viral element to it because it is unconventional, and it aims to solve a relatable problem. Maneesh also mentioned that the coronavirus pandemic has made us more susceptible to wasting time on social media and a lot of us can feel sick of the isolation of working at home.