Need incentive to have a tech break? Looking for a bit more #balance? There’s an app for that. Aussie-developed Android app AntiSocial can help slash your smartphone screentime. It monitors how much you use apps like Facebook, Snapchat and Insta – plus emails and games (Candy Crush addicts, listen up). AntiSocial shows you which apps you use the most – and how you compare to others in your demographic. It can even tell you how many times you open your phone to check for notifications.
Cutting back on screen time can have mind-based benefits. “If Fitbits are the answer to improving our physical health, AntiSocial is the app for our mental health,” says online addiction expert Professor Katina Michael, from Wollongong University. “It exists to help people be mindful of their phone usage and hopefully it will encourage people to reflect on their personal goals and patterns of interaction with others in their physical surrounds.”
Antisocial is part of a broader trend towards limiting tech time. Freedom blocks distracting sites like Insta and FB to make you more productive, also limiting your social interactions. Meanwhile Anomo is the shy person’s answer to Facebook. Anonymously reveal more about yourself as you go – or don’t.
Getting your social addiction sorted also has flow-on benefits for your body. We know that using your phone pre-bed is not ideal. It emits blue light, which messes with your levels of melatonin – that’s the hormone that helps you sleep. So cutting back can help save your sleep – and save on excess data charges. Win win.