At the beginning of this year I used my iPhone to browse Amazon's new titles when I saw Catherine Price's "How to Break Your Phone" cover. I downloaded it on the Kindle because I really wanted to reduce the use of my smartphone, but also because I thought it would be hilarious to read a book about breaking up your smartphone on my smartphone (silly, I know ). Within a few chapters, however, I am motivated enough to download a Moment, a screen tracking app that recommends Price, and re-purchased the printed book.
Early in "How to Break Your Phone," The Price invites his readers to get the Smartphone Compulsion Test, developed by David Greenfield, a psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut who also established the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. The test has 15 questions, but I know I have a problem after answering the first five. I humbled my very high score, which I was embarrassed to disclose, I decided that time would be serious in repealing my smartphone usage.
In the chapters of the Price book, what is called "Putting the Dope in Dopamine" is mine the most. He writes that "phones and most apps are designed specifically without & # 39; stopping the cues & # 39; to alert us when we are reasonably-minded the reason why it's so easy to get mad. We know that what we do is feed us, but instead of stopping, our brains decide that the solution is to look for more dopamine. "We reviewed our phones again and again."
Gross is exactly how I felt. I bought my first iPhone in 2011 (and owned an iPod Touch before that). This is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I saw in the evening. I would like to claim that this is because I want to check stuff at work, but I really have to autopilot. Thinking of what I could have accomplished over the past eight years if I did not continue to attach to my smartphone made me feel healing. I also wondered what it did with my brain's feedback feedback. As you change the sugar to your taste, you're making the desire for more and more sweet sensations, I'm worried that the extra dose of instant gratification on my phone will lose my ability to feel the real joy and satisfaction.
The Price book was published in February, at the beginning of a year when it felt like tech companies finally started treating the extra screen time as a liability (or at least more than that to pay for its service). In addition to introducing the Screen Time on iOS 12 and digital Android welfare tools, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have launched all new features that allow users to track the time spent on their sites and apps.
Early this year, influential activist investors hold Apple shares also called for the company to focus on how their devices affect children. In an Apple letter, the hedge fund Jana Partners and Californian Teacher Retirement Systems (CalSTRS) wrote "social media sites and applications where the iPhone and iPad are a major gateway are usually designed to be addictive and time-consuming, as many of their original creators are publicly acknowledged, "adding that" it's both unrealistic and a poor long-term business strategy to ask parents to fight this battle alone .
The growing research pitch
November, Penn State researchers have released an important new study linked to the use of social media of youth depression. Psychologist Melissa Hunt led the experimental study monitors 143 students with iPhones from the university within three weeks. Undergraduates are divided into two groups: one is ordered to limit their time to social media, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, up to 10 minutes per app per day (their usage is confirmed by screen checks using their phone's phone on the phone). The other groups continue to use social media apps as they usually did. At the beginning of the study, a baseline was established with common trials for depression, anxiety, social support and other issues, and each group was constantly assessed throughout the experiment.
The findings, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, are remarkable. Researchers say that "limited use groups have shown significant reductions in depression and depression within three weeks compared to the control group."
Even the control group has benefited, despite the lack of limitations on the use of their social media. "The same group showed significant decrease in anxiety and fear of missing out on the baseline, suggesting a benefit of higher self-esteem," said the study. "Our findings strongly suggest that limiting the use of social media for around 30 minutes a day can lead to significant improvement in healing."
Other academic studies published this year are added to the growing record of evidence that smartphones and mobile apps can significantly damage your mind and physical well-being.
A team of researchers from Princeton, Dartmouth, University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford published a study on the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found using smartphones to take pictures and Video of an experience really reduces the ability to build its memories. Others warn against keeping a smartphone in your bedroom or even at your desk while you work. Researchers of optical chemistry at the University of Toledo find that blue light from digital devices can cause molecular changes in your retina, potentially accelerating macular degeneration.
So in the past 12 months, I have had a lot of motivation to reduce my screen time. In fact, every time I checked the news on my phone, it looks like another headline about the dangers of using the smartphone. I started using Moment to keep track of my total screen time and how it was divided between apps. I took two of the courses within the Moment app, "Phone Bootcamp" and "Bored and Brilliant." I also used the app to set a daily time limit, opened "small reminders," or push notifications that tell you how much time you spend on your phone throughout the day, and enabled the "Force Me Off When I Over" feature, which your phone typically worries you when you go to your daily distribution.
cut my screen half time. I thought that some of the benefits, like a better span of attention mentioned in the book of the Price, are very good to be true. But I found that my concentration had really changed after just a week of limiting the use of my smartphone. I read more articles in the long term, got some TV shows, and finished knitting a sweater for my baby. Most importantly, the feeling I felt at the end of each day about the destruction of all my time was gone, and so I lived in favor afterwards, energetic in the knowledge that I did not prevent my life from memes, clickbait and makeup tutorial. [
After a few weeks, my screen screen began to improve. First I killed the Moment's "Force Me Off" feature, because my apartment had no landline and I needed to check the texts from my wife. I kept small reminders, but they were easier and easier to ignore. But even though I did not scroll through Instagram or Reddit, I felt the disdain of knowing that I misuse the best years of my life.
I want to know how to leave you, little device
I decided to talk to Moment's CEO Tim Kendall for some insights. Founded in 2014 by UI designer and developer of iOS Kevin Holesh, recently released an Android version . It is one of the best known of a genre that includes Forest, Freedom, Space, Off the Grid, AntiSocial and App Detox, all dedicated to reducing screen time (or at least encouraging more intensive use of the smartphone).
Kendall told me I was not alone. Once there are 7 million users and "in the last four years, you'll see that average usage goes out every year," he says. By looking at the general data, the Moment team can say that its tools and courses help people reduce their screen time, but often it starts crawling. Combined with new features one of the company's major goals for next year.
"We spend a lot of time investing in R & D to learn how to help people belong to that category. They have made Phone Bootcamp, saw good results, saw benefits, but not They have thought of how to do it forever, "Kendall said. The moment is regularly releasing new courses (new topics include sleep, attention span, and family time) and recently began offering them on a subscription basis.
"Behavioral traits and long-term behavior changes are really difficult," said Kendall, who previously held a position as president at Pinterest and Facebook's monetization director. But he is optimistic. "It's tractable, people can do it, I think the prizes are really worth it. We do not stop the courses. We discover many different ways to help people."
According to with Jana Partners and CalSTRS in their letter, a particularly important issue is the impact of overuse of smartphones in the first generation of teens and young adults to have continued access to devices. Kendall said that rates of suicide among teenagers have increased significantly over the last two decades. Although research is not clearly linked to the time spent online in suicide, the link between screen time and depression has been observed many times, as in Penn State's study.
But there is hope. Kendall said the Moment Coach feature, which provides short, daily training to reduce smartphone usage, seems particularly effective in millennials, the most stereotypically generation-related pathologically Attach to their phones. "It looks like the 20- and 30-somethings have an easier time internalizing the coach and thereby reducing their use than 40- and 50-somethings," he said.
Kendall stresses that the moment does not see smartphone use as an all-or-no measure. Instead, he believes that people should replace food waste in the brain, such as social media apps, with things like online language courses or meditation apps. "I really think the phone is used spontaneously is one of the wonderful things you have," he says.
I tried to limit most of my smartphone usage to apps like Kindle, but the best solution is to find offline alternatives to keep myself from being distracted. For example, I teach myself new knitting and dressing techniques, as I can not do either while holding my phone (even though I'm listening to podcasts and audiobooks). It also provides me with a tactic to measure the time I spend on my phone because the times I cut my screen time associated with the number of columns I completed in a project. To limit my use to specific apps, I rely on iOS Screen Time. However, simply tap "Ignore Limit," however, so I'm still still dependent on some of Moment features.
While many third-party screen time tracking app developers found themselves under Apple's more thorough analysis, Kendall said the Screen Time launch was not significantly affected by the business of the Moment or, sign up. Launching their Android version also unlocks a significant new market (Android also allows the moment to add new features that are not possible on iOS, which only allows access to certain apps during set times ).
The long-term effect of iOS Screen Time "has been neutral, but I think it's a long-term one that really helps," Kendall says. "I think that this long-term can help in the sense. If I use a metaphor for food, I think Apple has built a very large calorie counter and size, but unfortunately they did not give people of nutritional rules or a lifestyle If you are talking to any behaviorist economist, do not follow everything about self-esteem, numbers do not really motivate people. " Guilting does not work, though not for the long term, so Mom tries to get "a loving voice," he added. "That's part of our brand and company and ethos, we think we can not do it if people feel condemned when we use our product. They need to feel cared for and supported, and know that the goal is not perfection , it's a bit of a change. "
Many smartphone users are probably in my situation: Worried about their time screen statistics, dissatisfied with their waste time, but also finding it hard to leave their devices. Not only do we use our smartphones to interfere with ourselves or get a quick dopamine rush on the likes of social media. We use it to manage our workload, contact friends, plan our days, read books, find recipes, and find great places to go. I often thought about buying a bag of Yondr or asking my wife to hide my phone from me, but I know that eventually will not help.
As cheesy as it sounds, the force for change should come from within. One thing I say to myself is that unless developers can find more ways to force us to change our behavior or another major shift in paradigm occurs in mobile communications, my relationship with my smartphone will move to the course. Sometimes I'll be happy with my use, then I'll lose, then I'll take another moment of the course or try another screen time app, and hopefully go back to the track. In 2018, however, the conversation around the screen time finally got some desperately needed urgent need (and in the meantime, I actually completed some knitting projects instead of just thumbing up at my way through #knittersofinstagram).