Initially This year, I was using my iPhone to browse new titles on Amazon when I saw the cover "How to break up with your phone" By Catherine Price. 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 funny to read a book about disconnecting from my smartphone on my smartphone (idiot, I know that). Within two seasons, I had enough motivation to load Moment, An application to track the screen time recommended by Price, and re-buy the printed book.
Early in the "how to break up with your phone," the price calls its readers to take Intelligent oppression testDeveloped by David Greenfield, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut who also founded Internet center and technological addiction. The test contains 15 questions, but I knew I was in trouble after answering the first five questions. Humility of a very high degree, which I am very embarrassed to detect, I decided it was time to get serious about limiting the use of my smartphone.
Among the chapters in PricewaterhouseCoopers, the most striking one was "Doping in Dopamine." "Phones and most applications are deliberately designed without" stop signals "to alert us when we have enough – and that's why it's so easy to get caught up in the wrong way," she wrote. "At a certain level, we know that what we do makes us feel hungry. , Our brains decide that the solution is to look for more dopamine, we're checking our phones again.
Gross was exactly how I felt. I bought my first iPhone in 2011 (and owned an iPod Touch before). It was the first thing I looked at in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. I would pretend that it was because I wanted to check out the work of things, but in fact I was on autopilot. Thinking about what I've done over the past eight years if I have not been constantly connected to my smartphone has made me feel chills. She also wondered what a brain ring had done. Just as sugar changes your taste and makes you crave sweets more and more, I was concerned that the increasing doses of instant gratification provided by my phone would reduce my ability to feel real joy and pleasure.
Price's book was published in February, at the beginning of the year when it felt that technology companies had finally begun to deal with excessive screen time as a commitment (or at least to do more than just provide oral service to them). In addition to introduction Screen time on iOS 12 And Android digital welfare tools, Facebook, Instagram And Youtube Launched all new features that allow users to track the time spent on their sites and applications.
Earlier this year, active investors who are also Apple shares He called on the company to focus on how their devices affect children. In a letter to Apple, the hedge fund Jana Partners and the California Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) wrote "social networking sites and applications where the iPhone and iPad are a key gateway that is usually designed to be as addictive and time-consuming as possible. Original creators as "unrealistic and a weak long-term action strategy to ask parents to fight this battle on their own."
Growing research breeding
Then in November, researchers in Pennsylvania Released a new important study Which linked the use of social media by teenagers to depression. Led by psychologist Melissa Hunt, the Experimental Study 143 students with iPhones from the university monitored for three weeks. Students were divided into two groups: one was instructed to restrict their time on social media, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, to only 10 minutes per application per day (confirmed by checking the screens using their phone's iOS phones). The other group continued to use social media applications as they normally would. At the beginning of the study, the baseline was set with standard tests of depression, anxiety, social support and other issues, and each group was evaluated throughout the experiment.
The results published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology were amazing. "The limited use group showed a marked decrease in loneliness and depression within three weeks compared to control group," the researchers wrote.
Even the control group benefited, although no restrictions were imposed on the use of their social media. "Both groups showed a marked decrease in anxiety and fear of baseline loss, suggesting the benefit of increased self-monitoring," the study said. "Our results strongly suggest that reducing the use of social media for about 30 minutes a day can lead to a significant improvement in well-being."
Other academic studies published this year have added to the growing evidence of evidence that smart phones and mobile applications can greatly harm your mental and physical life.
A group of researchers from Princeton, Dartmouth, University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford Published a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology Which are found using smart phones to capture images and videos of the experience actually reduces the ability to form memories of it. Others warned against Keep smartphones in your bedroom or Even on your desk while you work. Visual chemistry researchers at the University of Toledo found that the blue light of digital devices can Cause molecular changes in the retina, Likely to distort macular degeneration.
So over the past 12 months, I certainly had a great deal of incentive to reduce screen time. In fact, every time I reviewed the news on my phone, there seemed to be another headline about the dangers of using a smartphone. I started to use Moment To track the total time of my screen and how it was split between applications. I took two Moment sessions within the application, "Phone Bootcamp" and "Bored and Brilliant". The app also uses a daily time limit, "small reminders", or notifications that tell you how much time has been spent on your phone so far throughout the day, and the "Force me to off when I'm more" feature, which basically bothers you From your phone when you exceed your daily appointment.
Initially managed to cut the screen time by half. I thought some of the benefits, such as the best attention period mentioned in Price's book, were so good that it was hard to believe. But I found that my focus actually improved significantly after one week of restricting the use of my smartphone. I read more long articles, and I stood on some TV shows, and finished knitting a jacket for my little boy. More importantly, the sense of discomfort I felt at the end of each day faded from the decline of my entire time, and so I lived happily ever after I learned that I was not wasting my life on mimes, quras and makeup.
I'm just kidding.
After a few weeks, the screen time began to sneak again. First, I stopped the Moment Away feature because my apartment did not have a landline and I needed to check the text from my husband. I kept small reminders, but those were easier and easier to ignore. But even when I was browsing painlessly through Instagram or Reddit, I felt the existential horror of knowing that I had misused the best years of my life. With all of that at stake, why is screen time reduction hard?
I wish I knew how to leave you, a small device
I decided to talk to Moment CEO Tim Kendall for some ideas. Founded in 2014 by UI designer and iOS developer Kevin Holesh, the moment was launched recently Masculine appearance Version also. It is one of the best known of the kind that includes Jungle, freedom, Void, Out of network coverage, antisocial And Application toxins, All dedicated to reduce screen time (or at least encourage the use of smarter smartphone).
Kendall told me I was not alone. Moment has 7 million users and "over the past four years, you can see that average usage is rising every year," he says. By looking at the data in general, Moment can tell him that his tools and courses help people reduce screen time, but that often starts to grow again. Combating this with new features is one of the company's key objectives for next year.
"We spend a lot of time investing in R & D to find out how to help people who fall into this category, they did the Bootcamp application over the phone, they saw good results, they saw benefits, but they could not figure out how to do it sustainably," Kendall says. . Moment is already issuing new sessions regularly (the last topics included sleep, attention span, and family time) and has recently started offering them on a subscription basis.
"It's normal to see a change in behavior and a change in sustainable behavior," says Kendall, who previously held positions as president of Pinterest and director of Facebook monetization. But he is optimistic. "It's easy, people can do it, I think the rewards are really important, we do not stop with the courses, we explore a lot of different ways to help people."
As Jana Partners and CalSTRS have noted in their message, one of the most important issues is the impact of excessive use of smartphones on the first generation of adolescents and young people for continuous access to devices. Kendall notes that suicide rates among teenagers have Significantly increased over the past two decades. Although the research did not explicitly link the time spent online with suicide, the link between screen time and depression was already observed several times, as in the Pennsylvania study.
But there is hope. Kendall says the Moment Coach, which offers short daily exercises to reduce the use of smartphones, appears to be particularly effective among the millennium generation, the generation most closely associated with stereotypical and satisfactorily linked to its phones. "It seems that the age of 20 and 30 years easier to absorb the coach and thus reduce its use from 40 to 50," he says.
Kendall stresses that Moment does not see the use of the smartphone as a full loan or nothing. Instead, people are thought to replace fast food in the brain, such as social networking applications, with things like online language courses or meditation applications. "I really think that the user's intended phone is one of the coolest things you have," he says.
I've tried to restrict most of my smartphone to apps like Kindle, but the best solution is to find offline alternatives to keep busy. For example, I teach myself new techniques in knitting and crocheting, because I can not do that while keeping my phone (although I listen to podcasts and audio books). It also gives me an easy way to measure the time I spend on turning off my phone because the hours I spend at the time of the screen are tied to the number of rows I completed in the project. To limit my use of certain apps, rely on iOS Screen Time. It is very easy to click on "Discard Border", however, continue to rely on many Moment features.
While many application developers time tracking third-party screen has Recently found themselves under further scrutiny by AppleKendall says the launch of Screen Time has not significantly affected Moment's activity or subscription processes. Launching their Android version also opens up a large new market (Android also allows Moment to add new features that are not possible on iOS, including allowing access to specific apps only at specified times).
Kendall says the short-term impact of iOS Screen Time "was neutral, but I think that in the long run it will really help us." "I think that in the long term it will help raise awareness." If I use a diet metaphor, I think Apple has built an ideal calorie counter and calorie, but unfortunately they have not provided dietary guidance or diet. What has been said about the quantitative self, the figures do not really motivate people. "
Panic does not work, at least not in the long run, so Moment tries to take a "gracious voice," he adds. "This is part of our brand, our company and our spirit, we do not think we would be very useful if people felt the judgment when using our product, they should feel care and support, and know that the goal is not perfection, it is a gradual change."
Many smartphone users may be in my position: worried about their screen time statistics, unhappy with the time they spend, but also having trouble leaving their devices. We do not use our smart phones just to divert our attention or get fast dopamine with social media. We use it to manage our workload, stay in touch with friends, plan for our days, read books, search for recipes, and find pleasant places to go. I have often thought about buying Yondr Or asked my husband to hide my phone from me, but I know he will not help me in the end.
It seems that the change, in terms of gravity, is driven from within. No amount of academic research, screen time applications, or analytics can compensate for this.
One thing I say to myself is that unless developers find more ways to force us to change our behavior or another major shift in mobile communications, my relationship with my smartphone will move into cycles. Sometimes, I'll be happy to use, then I'll be out, then I'll take another Moment course or try another application for the screen time, and hope you're back on track. In 2018, however, the conversation about the screen time eventually gained some of the most pressing urgencies (at the same time, I actually completed some knitting projects instead of sailing my way across #knittersofinstagram).