As paradoxical as it sounds, downloading more apps can help you with your next digital detox. The next time you realize your 20-minute break turned into a two-hour Facebook spiral, download one of these apps. These apps will not only prevent you from wasting your time, but also notice how much of your life is spent on tech. These apps can help everyone unplug.
Flipd requires active usage. In other words, you need to want to reduce your screen time. The app has two options, the “Light Lock” or the “Full Lock.” The “Light Lock” is self-control based. Users open the app and start the timer to count how long they have been consciously unplugged. In the “Full Lock” mode, users are blocked from the apps of their choosing for a certain amount of time. The app has features such as a schedule with reminders to disconnect, a Flipd community to stay motivated, and a wellness hub. The wellness hub includes guided deep breathing, therapeutic sounds, pep talks, and meditation sessions.
This app changes your phone’s interface to help you unplug. The app removes icons and logos from your home screen and adds a relaxing photo as the background. In addition, users can set a daily intention to be displayed on their home screens. Siempo’s main feature is allowing users to decide how often they want their notifications to be displayed. Notifications can be sent at certain times each day or in intervals. Also, users can decide which notifications should be restricted by the app. For example, this app can send social media notifications at noon each day, but news app notifications as soon as they arrive.
Moment is the perfect app if you are new to digital detoxing. It automatically tracks how much time you have spent on your phone and the amount of times you unlock your phone each day. It will occasionally send you a notification summarizing your phone usage. You can also set daily goals regarding how much time you want to spend on certain apps or on your phone as a whole.
If you are looking to block certain apps, without all the frills, ClearLock is ideal. This app allows users to block apps of their choosing for as short or long as they want. It is easy to use and makes it impossible for users to procrastinate. This app can help you disconnect when you are trying get work done, study or just chill out.
Motivation to stay off your phone is more concrete with Forest. Users can help the environment when they spend less time looking at their screens. On the app, you plant virtual trees and earn coins when you disconnect for an allotted period of time. Once users earn enough coins, they can spend them to help plant real trees in Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania. The app will also scold you if you fail to stay offline.
For competitive people, that adrenaline rush you get from beating someone, or yourself, is the best motivation for doing anything. ShutApp helps people digital detox with some friendly competition. Users invite friends to a match and start the Shutapp timer. The user that holds out on checking their phone the longest wins. If self-competition is more your style, turn on the timer and try to break your own unplugged records.
Unplugging is hard, but with Mute, you will be encouraged to work at it. The app recognizes that the dopamine rush people experience from a like or comment on social media needs to be replaced with something during a digital detox. Consequently, the app sends motivational notifications when users reach goals. In addition, the app tracks screen time and the amount someone picks up their phone. Mute records what app people check last before going to sleep and first when they wake up. These records are available for users, so they can reflect on their phone usage and see their progress.
This app is simple. All Checky does is count the amount of times you check your phone every day. People frequently check their phone without thinking. Therefore, many people don’t even realize how many times they are picking up their phone, even if they don’t actually spend much time on it. Simply showing people how many times they check their phone forces them to become conscious of their usage.
featured photo credit: Indian Yogi (Yogi Madhav) on Unsplash
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