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24 August 2017

Some guy connected an electroshock bracelet to Twitter and let the world have at him

Zap!
Zap!

Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

We’re all just looking for a little genuine human connection in this increasingly digital world. Some of us, however, have slightly more interesting ways of finding it than others. 

Take, for example, Kevin Raposo. On Aug. 24, the technology writer thought he’d have a little fun and post an activation link for his electric shock-delivering bracelet to Twitter. A bracelet, it is important to add, that he was wearing around his right wrist. 

Anyone who wanted to could hit a button and deliver Raposo a zap, so of course he implored the internet to have at him.

You can guess what happened next. 

That’s right, people began shocking him. Like, a lot. 

“The thing was going off consistently for like 20 mins,” Raposo explained over email. “So much, in fact, the battery died. The Pavlok app says I was zapped about 755 times today. That’s all in the span of 20 mins.” 

Despite what it may look like, the device itself was not designed to make the barbs of Twitter trolls physical. Instead, according to the company’s website, the Pavlok wristband is intended to help both train the wearer out of bad habits and shape good ones.

“Other wearables track,” explains the site. “Pavlok gets you focused on your goals. It’s like sorcery for your lizard brain making you more aware.”

We reached out to Pavlok to determine what they think of Raposo’s brand of sorcery, but haven’t heard back as of press time. 

As for Raposo, well, he may not have broken any bad habits with this experiment but he definitely learned something. 

“Anyways, this whole experience taught me people like to inflict pain on others, especially when it’s done remotely from a keyboard, but in a good way,” he mused. “But hey, I asked for it.”

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