In the 2nd of our Wellness Tech blog post series featuring the technologies that can make our lives better, we feature Screen Time Limit Apps.
Sole focus on screen time — as in quantity of screen time exposure — is now outdated. As suggested by a recent report titled Families and screen time: Current advice and emerging research, it’s now suggested that far more valuable insights come from considering the three C’s; screen context — where, when and how we access digital content, screen content — what content we consume and screen connections — effect of that content on our relationships.
Screen time dilemma should gravitate towards how to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities of these three Cs. Additional research has linked screen time with depression, applying screen time limits — specifically social media — helps decrease both depression and loneliness. As we seek to tailor our screen time more we should also consider what context is appropriate, what content is desirable and what facilitates connections that are valuable to us. As an example, a game that is played in one’s free time — and not in family time, that provides us with the type of content which enriches our wellbeing and that strengthens connections we have with our game buddies, is the game worth playing and screen time worth having.
Once you figure out how to navigate your own screen time according to these three Cs, we bring you four screen time limiting apps for anything that does not deserve a spot in your life!
In line with the approach proposed above, this app promises to help you enjoy what matters, be more aware of yourself and set boundaries to live a more fulfilled life. The app — built in partnership with the Humboldt University of Berlin — enables you to unplug while granting the contacts of your choice an ability to pierce through that idleness. Offtime does not only let you restrict apps which score low on your three Cs but it also serves as a good analytics tool. With it, you will build greater awareness of your screen time habits such as what you engage most with and how many times a day you unlock your device.
If you believe that the only screen time limiting app that could work for you is a strict and uncompromising one, you may want to try Flipd. The app — that has a number of features available with a free trial version — boasts itself to be the place “where the productivity community meets” and as such it offers monthly challenges within its community. If you were hoping to start a digital detox with a supportive colleague or a caring friend, this is an app for you! With Flipd, you can follow your friends and cheer on their growth as well as celebrate your own — neatly visualized — progress.
This app — already downloaded and loved by millions around the world — will be a helping hand in taking control of your device back. With Space, you can set time and unlock goals for yourself and invite friends to work towards those goals together. The so-called Focus Time mode blocks out distracting notifications from other apps and is useful for productivity bursts. Also, Space attempts to offer a personalized experience: it will give you research-based tips on changing your habits and it will seek to understand why you may be having too much screen time — perhaps you are bored, but perhaps it’s something else.
Maybe you are a self-control master who finds it effortless to disregard your smartphone for hours and you are rather looking for something that will keep you away from all the unwelcome content while you are at your computer. Look no further. Stay Focusd is a free browser extension that will — once you meet your daily time limit — lock you out of the websites and apps of your choice. The app’s different modes (with varying strictness levels!) are flexible and will allow you to block entire sites, specific pages or even specific in-page content you find badly aligned with your three Cs.