As we become more and more dependant on our devices to help us with everyday tasks, they can quickly take over our lives. Many of the most popular smartphone providers are starting to take digital wellbeing very seriously. In fact, Google recently released several digital wellbeing experiments.
Being in the experiments category, it doesn’t mean these apps will stick around forever (oh Inbox, how I miss you!). Some of them, I don’t even think I could survive using, but they are all worth a look!
One thing that is shocking to people when they start using a digital wellbeing app like Unlock Clock or Space is how often they are unlocking their phones. The app will display a count of every time you unlock your phone.
Sure, it may be a little bit judgey (I always yell back at the screen when Netflix asks if I’m still watching…. yes Netflix, I haven’t moved from the couch for hours, stop judging me!) but it is extremely eye-opening. As you see how much you’ve been opening your phone, you may decide it’s time to cut back a bit.
If you’ve ever gotten together with a large group of friends and everyone ends up on their phone at one point or another, We Flip is a great app for you! It’s actually more like a game, where everyone turns the app on, and then the contest begins. Whoever unlocks their phone first is the LOSER!
You can set up a punishment before you get started like the loser has to buy everyone a drink or dessert! It’s a really simple game, but can be a great way for everyone to be able to interact together without the use of technology for a little while.
Are you suffering from notification overload? Does the siren call of your notification light get you every single time? If so, Post Box might be a great app for you to install.
The app takes all of your notifications and keeps them until specific delivery intervals. This really helps keep you from constantly checking your device for new notifications, since you won’t even be able to see them until the delivery time. As a notification junkie myself, this app is certainly going to help.
As parents, we will often limit access to apps for our children based on what time it is. After bedtime, only allowing access to very specific applications. Sometimes don’t you wish there was something like that for yourself?
With Morph you can select specific apps to be accessible in certain geographic locations. So at work, you will only see apps you need for work like your 2FA application or when you want to focus on your family it only shows absolutely essential apps.
The app basically morphs your phone into exactly what you need to help you get distracted less.
This application gets its name from the age-old question; if you were stranded on a Desert Island? So, if you happened to be stranded on a desert island, what apps would you absolutely need… of course along with data service.
The application asks you to pick a few essential apps and challenges you to only use those for the next 24 hours. If you have a big deadline looming, this will be a great way to help keep you focused so you can get it all done.
Many people have a hard time putting their phones away because we have so much information stored there. From contacts to calendar and more, our phones basically run our entire day.
If you could get the essential information you need for the day out of your phone for a small period of time, you could probably let your phone go, at least for a little while. That is the concept behind Paper Phone.
The app will allow you to print out a small booklet with information you deem essential, like specific contacts, your calendar items for the day, recipes you need and more. Print out your little “paper phone” and stick your real phone in a drawer for the day.
It’s like when my son loses his computer privileges and then just creates an entire computer with apps using paper and pens. Except you are just grounding yourself instead of your kid!
Using some of these digital wellbeing apps can help you break up with your phone a bit and get your life back! Let me know if you end up using any of these and if you like them!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com