Beating Your Phone Addiction

At 9.30am on a Wednesday morning, I received a notification telling me I’d already picked up my phone 30 times that day. “11 left until you go over your goal of 41 pickups,” my screen read. “Put your phone down until 9.52am! Enjoy your time living in the moment.”

These updates were sent via Moment, an app that tracks my screen time.

Moment was created by Kevin Holesh in 2014 to combat his own device addiction. He was working as an independent app developer, spending hours each day staring at screens. After work, Holesh found that he was scrolling mindlessly through Twitter instead of talking to his wife or taking his dogs for a walk.

“I wanted a way of seeing how much time I was sinking into my phone,” he told me. “So I hacked something together that could monitor my screen time.”

Holesh found that he was spending 75 minutes on his phone a day. He added a feature to the app that notified him whenever his screen time exceeded 40 minutes. “My phone would buzz, and I’d go and do something else,” he said. “It was like a little angel on my shoulder nudging me in the right direction.”

Holesh figured that if the system worked for him, it would work for others, and later that year he released Moment as a free app. To date, it has been downloaded 8m times.

As well as tracking device use, Moment now has a “coach” function, which offers guided programs to help users focus and be more productive, for $7.99 a month.

You can read more here.