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Google wants to reduce your screen time with … an envelope?




On average, people spend four hours a day on the phone . It should come as no surprise that we are all probably addicted to our cell phones, but don't worry, it's not all our fault – apps were literally designed to keep us going .

Yesterday, Google launched three new experimental apps as part of the & # 39; Digital Wellbeing Initiative & # 39; released by the company to get you off your phone Balance with technology. “

Google, one of the most advanced digital companies in the world, has a more remarkable solution to rid you of your phone addiction: you have to seal it in an envelope.

[Read: Apps get your attention – put an end to your phone ]

You only need to download Envelope in the Play Store app, print out the attached PDF and follow the instructions to shape it a bag. Currently & # 39; Envelope & # 39; only available for Pixel 3a users. It has been described as an "experimental app that temporarily turns your phone into a simpler, quieter device, helping you break away from your digital world."

Once your phone is securely in its envelope – it is recommended that you use glue to resist the temptation to break it open – all you can do is make calls, view the time, or use speed dialing.

Basically, it turns your few hundred-dollar handset into a $ 10 dumbphone.

I have to admit, it's pretty refreshing to see such a simple solution to reducing your screen time. You must know that you will not receive a Screen Time legal notice before you even have to work.

But if you don't have a Pixel 3a or … you just can't make an envelope, there are other simple solutions to spend less time on your device.

Catherine Price, author of & # 39; How To Put an End to Your Cell Phone! & # 39; advises you to put a rubber band around your phone so you ask why it is there when you unconsciously look for Instagram. "It's not possible to change a habit if you don't know you're getting involved," Price told TNW.

What if we just look at the screen time wrong?

Since the first picture was uploaded to Instagram, scientists have been investigating the consequences of living with a smartphone. In recent years, it has been argued that excessive screen time in young people can have numerous negative effects, such as depression, anxiety, obesity, lower academic performance, and even developmental delays in children's research, inconsistent results, or even contradicting findings. In a published last week in the & # 39; Nature & # 39; journal it was argued that the screen time is too vague to really understand human behavior.

“A major limitation of thousands of digital media impact studies over the past decade have shown that they do not analyze what types of data can show exactly what people see and do on their screens – especially in terms of the problems that doctors have. Legislators and parents are most concerned about it, ”the authors wrote.

To improve our understanding of screen time and how it affects our well-being, Stanford researchers have developed the Human Screenome Project, a tracking platform that logs screenshots of a user device every five seconds throughout the day ,

Unlike Apple's screen time feature, which simply shows how much time you've spent on each app, this tool is designed to provide a more complete understanding of how often and why users use their screens. The researchers hope that this will lead to a more accurate and reliable recommendation of what type of screen time affects people's health.

Regardless of your screen time, it is far too easy to take a consistent approach to screen time. While some people suffer from excessive use of their phones, others may find comfort in them or even use them for work. The most important thing is to take a step back and understand your relationship with your phone and see if this needs to be changed. Maybe your level of use is okay, maybe you need to reduce it, or maybe you need to put it in an envelope.

Have more questions about screen time and phone addiction? Catherine Price, science journalist and author of How to Break Up With Your Phone, is hosting a TNW Answers session on Monday, February 10th. Ask your questions here NOW !

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Published on January 22, 2020 – 12:42 UTC


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