Apple and Google are fighting against smartphone addiction

Poachers sometimes also play for forester. Apple and Google are now working to make us less dependent on smartphones. New features should tell us how long we have been looking at that screen and even urging us to give that thing some more rest.

When Steve Jobs developed an iPhone with Apple ten years ago, he wanted to bring the best possible phone to the market. With which you could call, send messages, e-mail, take photos and you did not need an mp3 player. What he did not envisage was a thing that lies in the palm of our hand from early in the morning until late at night or within reach.

But it is now that far: through countless apps and the success of social media that have a good messenger in their smartphones for their platforms. And trop is too much, according to Apple and Google. With their new operating systems, they – oh irony – are working to encourage users of smartphones to use their phone less often.

In his latest software ‘Android 9’ – currently available in a trial version for a limited number of smartphones – Google starts with ‘Digital Wellbeing’. That app keeps a pie chart at how much time you spend on your smartphone, how much attention popular apps cost and there is the possibility to restrict addictive apps. The idea is that the smartphone itself regularly presents itself for a long time: “is not it time to do something else?”.

At Apple it is ‘Screen time’ that users want to protect themselves. Here, too, the phone keeps track of how much time it absorbs and owners who think of themselves that they spend too much time on Twitter or Instagram, for example, set a limit.

For example, at most one hour per day on Facebook and then the app will be locked up. Apple and Google also install new features that allow you to easily indicate that no beep or screen notification is allowed. Such a ‘do not disturb’ function should ensure that we lose sight of our phones more often than is currently the case.

“Our brain and our eyes need break moments”
Psychologist and addiction expert Paul Van Deun just wrote the book ‘The hijacked brain’ and is pleased with the developments in ‘Silicon Valley’. “There are no long-term studies that look at smartphone use because those things are still so recent, but it cannot be healthy to be busy from morning to evening.

Our brain and our eyes just need moments of break, while we are trying to fill every emptiness with smartphones. People need to be aware of this and those new functions can help with that. We all feel that we are very busy and that life is escaping us. And when you get proof that you are stuck on that smartphone for four hours a day, your eyes will still open.

Can be reached anytime and anywhere and are constantly busy with e-mail or social media: “The fact that it is so addictive is because we are programmed as a human being to pay much attention to new issues from our survival strategy. If something happens, we estimate whether something means danger. And so, there is a kind of curiosity ingrained that also manifests itself in our smartphone use. We think the whole time we have to check our e-mails, Facebook or Twitter for novelties, while in the end so much is not going to happen.”

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