Do you ever find yourself itching to get your hands on your phone every few minutes? Well, you’re not alone. Apparently, smartphone addiction is a growing concern. Here are some apps that can help you get over this so-called gadget obsession.
It’s hard to imagine the previous era sans the smartphones. Now, it seems like every person you see in cafes, parks, and malls have their eyes glued to their gadget screens. Smartphone addiction it real–in fact, an average person touches their phone 2,617 times a day! That’s quite a lot for the limited 24 hours that we have.
Effects of smartphone addiction
While smartphones give us unparalleled connectivity with others, entertainment, and accessibility to a lot of things, it doesn’t come without disadvantages. At what point is smartphone use too much? Apparently, there are possible risks that come excessive use of smartphones.
Shortened attention span
It’s surprising that some studies claim that some smartphone users have the attention span of a goldfish. It may seem difficult to wait longer times because smartphone use has trained us to receive information at a single tap. Short attention spans are attributed to prolonged gadget use.
Prolonged texting, social media browsing, or other smartphone activities can make a person’s posture hunched for extended periods. It turns out, there are studies that show an increase in people who are suffering from back problems. 2015 studies show that 45% of young people are experiencing lower back pain, which is associated with smartphone use.
Anxiety and Depression
Whether you may find yourself green with envy from seeing an update in social media, or you’re worried waiting for a message from a special someone, extended smartphone use can cause anxiety and depression. A study showed that those with poor mental health spend 68 minutes on average with their smartphones, compared to an average of 17 minutes of those with better mental states.
Now that we understand the potential harms of smartphone use, what are some apps that can help us curb the addiction?
Top 5 Apps to Help Stop Smartphone Addiction
1. Offtime (iOS and Android)
Offtime is an app that helps block distraction apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as games. It also helps minimize messaging functions to keep you focused on tasks. There’s also a feature that helps you see how much time you spend using your smartphone. Different modes such as Work, Family, or Me Time makes sure that you can use your smartphone optimally for each activity.
This app provides access only to the apps that are useful for each mode you set. This helps get rid off the habits of constant social media checking, unnecessary messaging, or time-wasting e-mail refreshes.
2. Moment (iOS)
Moment is also an app that tracks overall use of your device. The difference is this app makes sure that you limit your usage. For example, you can set only 30 minutes to use your smartphone within a day. It’s up to the user to set a specific time limit that helps them curb their addiction.
If this is exceeded, there is an option that shows annoying alerts that remind you that you’re over the limit. This helps people stay away from their devices as much as possible. Moment can also be used by parents who want to track their family’s device use, especially for younger children.
3. BreakFree (iOS and Android)
BreakFree turns the usual tracking features found in other smartphone apps into a reward-based system. This app differs by allowing the user to check their “addiction score”. It helps you see how many times you perform certain activities in your smartphone such as unlocking your screen, accessing apps, and screen time. The app logs your usage, which makes it a great option for those who are goal-oriented. If you want to feel accomplished by curbing your smartphone addiction, BreakFree is an awesome choice. It can be a fulfilling experience to see how your “addiction score” dips eventually in this app.
4. Flipd (iOS and Android)
Flipd is not for tha faint-hearted and wishy-washy smartphone addiction quitters. It engages the user in a more aggressive approach when it comes to controlling cellphone use. Flipd allows you to set a time that you can lock your phone. When you decide to do this, however, know that there’s no way to undo it. Even if you decide to restart your phone, Flipd will remain in operation, making it difficult to cheat. This is a cold-turkey way to completely change your smartphone habits.
There’s also a feature that allows you to remotely “flip off” or lock another user’s device when connected, which can help in partner accountability to get rid of the bad habit.
5. AppDetox (Android)
If you can’t stop playing your smartphone mini games, or you keep on checking your social media apps, AppDetox can help you control these digital cravings. AppDetox allows users to set specific options per app depending on your preferences.
You can set restrictions on distractive apps such as social media and games during work hours. If you attempt to access these apps, AppDetox will remind you that it’s time to keep your phone away.
Smartphones apps for smartphone addiction?
It’s an ironic thought that smartphone addiction can be solved by using the same technology! Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to try these options to make sure that you spend a healthy time with your smartphone, as well as away from it.
Charles Watson is a freelance writer who specializes in health and addiction. Currently he is publishing work for https://www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com. He can be reached directly on Twitter at @charleswatson00.