We've reached peak smartphone
Our computers and smartphones can improve our lives dramatically. We can find our way when lost, communicate with distant friends, and learn about the world around us. Those who wish we didn’t have this technology can pull the smartphone from our cold, dead hands. But it is true that too much time spent on our devices isn’t good for us. Blue light from devices can disrupt our sleep and some people become addicted to the apps or games on their devices, which can get in the way of life.
If you were to imagine a product designed to get people off their phones, you’d think it was a book or screenless gadget of some sort. Surprisingly, the latest attempt to get us off our devices is a smartphone app. Seriously. Glued is an iPhone app that tracks how much you’re on your smartphone shares this information with the rest of your family (or friends).
The creators want to encourage downtime by rewarding users for taking breaks from their devices. By linking up to other members of the family, it’s hoped that users will compete to prove they’re not addicted to their phones. The app allows you to stop tracking that you’re on the device with a “positive use” button, if you’re doing something useful like studying. Presumably this means the entire system can be cheated.
We’re not overly comfortable with apps and devices that restrict our tech usage like IKEA’s table that forces everyone to put down their phones. At least this app doesn’t restrict usage and instead relies on guilt and shaming, despite the UI’s positive spin of rewards and challenges. Maybe the idea will appeal to parents worrying about the amount of time their kids are on their devices but it seems likely most kids would be able to work around the app even if they were forced to use it.
Glued is available for free on iOS.
Main image © Glued To Ltd
Story via TNW