Digital detox: The apps that help you cut down on smartphone use


This year’s summer vacation could be the perfect opportunity to try a digital detox. — AFP Relaxnews

From morning to night, the smartphone is a tool that seems to accompany us in all our day-to-day activities.

From the alarm clock wake-up call, to emails, games, calls and social networks, the day can quickly be filled with all manner of activities on this touchscreen device. Summer could be the perfect time to give yourself the digital detox you might well need.

But a habit can be hard to break without a helping hand. Here are three applications to help you rein in the time spent scrolling (or tapping) away on your mobile.

Does the idea of living without your phone seem inconceivable? Then you could be nomophobic, literally addicted to your smartphone.

Whether you use it for work, leisure or planning your vacation, it can sometimes be hard to put your smartphone down.

Fortunately, this device can also provide you with the means to learn to detach yourself from it.

Moment: The fun option

This application, developed by Kevin Holesh, works in the background to measure the amount of time you use your phone. You can choose to measure usage time over a given period, such as outside office hours, for example. The results are displayed as graphs for better readability.

For the most addicted users, a pro package priced €5.95 (RM30) offers alerts when the screen time exceeds the limit you set. The application also offers some advice in the form of games.

(Available in the App Store)

Flipd: The radical option

With Flipd, it’s time to get tough. When setting up the app, you define a time period during which certain applications on your phone will be locked. For example, your social networks or your favorite game. Once launched, the application blocks these functions for the time you set. Even restarting the phone won’t unlock them.

The app offers daily challenges to help users achieve their goals. There’s also a global community for comparing results.

(Available in the App Store and for Android)

Space: The digital detox

The Space application offers a sixty-day program to detox mobile addicts from their phones. Upon installation, a quiz helps determine your profile, with questions about how you use your phone, how often you use it and what is driving you to limit your usage. Once completed, it's time to get started with the two-month program to break your smartphone habit.

Had a few relapses? The application will send you notifications to help you avoid falling back into bad habits.

(Available in the App Store and for Android) – AFP Relaxnews

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