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New Apps Tell You How Obsessed You Are With Checking Your Phone

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smithsonian.com

We, as a society, have a problem with our smart phones. The problem is that we basically never put them down. Eighteen-to-24 year olds spend, on average, 37 hours per month looking at their phones, says research from Nielsen. But that's just a touch higher than the national average of 34 hours per month. We spend more time on our phones than we do watching TV or browsing the web from a computer: our phones just do so many things.

There's a fine line between convenience and compulsion, though, and some people may feel their reliance on their pocket computer has gotten out of hand. For these techno-addicted folk there may be, ironically, an app for that. Two apps, one called Checky, the other Moment, seek to help phone obsessives keep tabs on smartphone usage.

Checky, says Esquire, “tracks how many times you check your phone over the course of a day.” With a number in hand, it might be easier to gauge whether your efforts to tone down the phone usage are actually working.

Moment, says NPR, takes a slightly different approach. You give yourself a phone usage quota, and the app will let you know how close you are to running out of time:

“You set the "start" and "end" times for tracking your phone use, as well as your maximum daily limit. The app gives you "nudge" updates every so often so you know how much time you've used.”

"It's sort of silly on the face of it to need an app to get you less addicted to apps," said the developer of Moment to NPR. "There's really nothing that I can do or any developer can do to make you use your iPhone less. That's sort of a choice that has to come from inside yourself."

About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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