It was during a 2am panic attack after waking up, reaching for my smartphone and reading a tweetstorm about the latest Donald Trump controversy that I realised I may have a problem. That, and the fact that even my year-old son had started telling me to put my phone down when he caught me not paying attention.
Among to year-olds, that rose to more than half. According to British apps developer Nick Kuh: Kuh is trying to make amends: Norwegian app Hold even tries to incentivise its student users by offering points for reducing their smartphone habitwhich they can exchange for snacks and cinema tickets. Two weeks in to testing them, I know that I average 52 unlocks per day and up to two hours of usage.
Digital detox goal smashed! Did you need to be here? In my case, this data led to action: I actively tried to pick up my smartphone less.
Seeing this data is just a first step, however. What are you going to do about the insight? How are you going to make a change? Many changes seem common sense. Kuss suggests deleting the most distracting apps from your smartphone, and not sleeping with it next to your bed.
Within that first fortnight of tracking my usage, and following this advice, I find myself in a vein of creativity, coming up with and pitching more feature ideas in my job as a freelance journalist than I had in the last several months of This may be no coincidence.
Their business models focus on extra features: Even Apple is under pressure over this issue, with two of its major investors recently calling on the company to do more to help parents tackle problematic smartphone usage by their children. As another positive sign, Powell cites Silicon Valley initiative Time Well Spentwhich is trying to push back against technology that hijacks our attention.
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