Want to unplug and unwind in 2020? These apps can help
How often do you ‘check’ your phone, even when it hasn’t made a sound? How many minutes can you go without reaching for it at all? Our screens are disrupting sleep patterns, causing spinal abnormalities, affecting quality time with loved ones.Updated: Jan 04, 2020 18:39 IST
Moment: This app comes with a digital detox mode called ‘Enter the Moment’, that lets you set aside time in the day when you would like to be offline. During that time, the app will prompt the user to switch off data and notifications. And it allows you to post an update on social media channels and to friends and family so that you are not disturbed with calls or text messages, so there isn’t a flood of notifications when you go back online.
There’s also an online coach feature that offers daily tips on how to wean yourself away from all the scrolling so that you gradually spend less time online.
At its most basic function, it tracks how long you are spending online, and tells you which apps are sucking up most of that time. You can set a daily limit, and once you reach it the app will ping you constantly until you set the phone aside.
Off-time: This one lets you classify apps as work, me-time and family. If you’re in one category of app, it will block notifications from the other two, with the option of exceptions for certain people – near and dear ones, bosses, project coordinators.
Social Fever: If you have symptoms of nomophobia (the fear of being without your mobile phone), this app offers to help by sending you daily and weekly reports on subjects of your choice, so that you can spend less time scrolling to see exactly who said what in real time. It also lets you set time limits for social media apps; a timer buzzes when the limit is reached. Based on phone and earphone usage, it also pings every 30 minutes, reminding you to give your eardrums or your eyes a break.
Twilight and NightVision: Long exposure to blue light has been found to disrupt sleep cycles. These apps alter the blue light using a filter to produce less harmful red light, and can be useful for those reading or scrolling a lot at night, on their phones or tablets.
- Enforce a no-scrolling rule for an hour before bed. Switch to non-backlit screens or paper instead.
- Use the triple-A formula (awareness, acknowledgement and action). Identify problematic behaviour (like too much scrolling), acknowledge that it is a problem; resolve to take action. That second part is harder than you’d think.
- Refrain from checking or responding on social media sites for an hour after you wake up.
- Set an intake limit and keep to it (ideally, not more than 14 hours a week).
- Focus on your hobbies. If you love reading or painting or playing an instrument, allocate time for these activities.
- Maintain an alternative phone just for calls and text messages, and take a break from your smartphone at least once a week.(Courtesy counselling psychologist Natasha Mehta)