Break Your Mobile Phone Addiction: There's An App for That and More | Beth's Blog

Break Your Mobile Phone Addiction: There’s An App for That and More

Happy Healthy Nonprofit, Mindfulness, Mobile

Having trouble getting that mobile phone out of your hands and checking it when you need to focus on work? There’s an app that can help you break your mobile phone addiction and it makes it fun.  The app is called Forest that turns putting down your phone into a game.

Here’s how it works. You open the app, you plant a digital tree and it will thrive for as long as you stay in the app. Once you start tapping other apps, the tree start to die. The longer you get the mobile phone out of your hands and not check email or social media or open other apps, the longer this tree will grow. It is a little bit more fun locking your phone in your desk drawer or closet. The app even partnered with Trees for the Future to help plant real trees.

If gaming and a higher purpose doesn’t work in curbing your addiction, then maybe try adding apps on your phone that can enrich your life versus wasting time.  Or maybe you should become more aware of how often you pick up and how many hours per week you spend on your phone.  The Moment app will give you a regular report as well as what apps you are using. Next, use this list of tips to tweak your mobile phone so it can reduce or eliminate your addiction to your mobile phone.

But technology addiction is only the tip of the iceberg, it is part of something much bigger.  According to a recent New York Times article,  several Silicon Valley insiders, early employees at tech giants Facebook and Google, have come together to form a coalition of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology.  Working in partnership with Common Sense Media, they will launch education campaigns about anti-addiction to tech and also make tech companies more accountable in the way they design products.

They’ve outlined their strategy on their web site. Technology products have trapped our attention and the down side, according to Center for Humane Technology is that it is impacting our social relationships, mental health, children, and ultimately chipping away at civil society. The site clearly outlines the ills that technology has on our world, but it also offers a solution going forward. It includes humane design, political pressure on companies, create a cultural awakening about the perils of technology addiction, and employee engagement.

The Center for Humane Technology includes large group of former tech company employees. The co-founder and executive director is Tristan Harris, a former Google employee, an expert on how technology steers the thoughts, actions, and relationships impacts everyone. You can read more of his writing and about him here.

In the Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout, we looked the important of technology wellness as part of a self-care strategy for nonprofit professionals and to activate a culture of wellbeing in the nonprofit workplace. If you are concerned about your own technology use or are experiencing collaborative overload, come join me for this FREE webinar hosted by Salesforce Foundation on February 13th.

What’s your best tip for avoiding mobile phone addiction?  I just learned about turning my phone to grayscale because the brightly colored icons give your brain a shiny reward every time we open up our phone.  Grayscale removes those rewards and can help you check your phone less.


3 Responses

  1. Jon says:

    I tried switching my phone to gray-scale. I liked that idea, but could not figure out to do it with my phone (Anderoid). One of the things I have done in the past is to delete apps that I “kill time” with, usually games. I also try to remember that a phone is a tool, not the focus of my life. Thanks for the information.

  2. Brandon says:

    I check my phone in the morning, then stash it away for a few hours until lunch, then do the same thing and check it at night for a few minutes. When I have specific windows to check my phone, then I don’t “linger” on it all day. It’s not a perfect solution but it works for me.

  3. Beth Kanter says:

    Hi Jon,

    Check here for how-tos

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