I don’t think many people would argue with the statement that we, as a society, are probably spending a little too much time with our smartphones, tablets, and computers, at the cost of missing out on “real life” (not to mention the very real risk of being eaten by bears). To help us at least keep track of our addictive behavior, and maybe even cut down a bit, ZeroDesktop has launched a new self-help Android app, QualityTime, that tracks the amount of time you spend on your smartphone and issues gentle reminders when you seem to be falling into a digital “K hole.”
The app includes a personal log or “timeline” of your smartphone usage, telling you exactly how much time you spend on different apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. You can set limits for specific apps (Candy Crush Saga, I’m looking in your direction) or general device usage. You can also share you statistics with your friends -- a clever feature that draws on support group dynamics to help reinforce positive behavioral changes.
Last year a study from Flurry found that the average American smartphone owner spends 162 minutes per day using the device, with 86% of this time devoted to apps. That’s up from an average of just 58 minutes per day the year before, according to Experian. And overall Americans spend 11 hours per day with digital media when live and time-shifted TV are included, according to Nielsen.
In conclusion, we all probably need to get a life. Just as soon as we beat this next level.