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Addicted to apps? There's an app for that


Calah Alexander - published on 04/20/17

The absolute best way to disrupt humanity for the common good would be to short-circuit all of our smartphones.

Tired of the clutter on your smartphone and feeling trapped by the compulsive desire to check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every five minutes? Behold, the latest in app technology:

This cracked me up, because it’s so on point. I mean, the absolute best way to disrupt humanity for the common good would be to short-circuit all of our smartphones. I know I’d panic for like an hour and then feel LIBERATED. True story: I didn’t give up social media for Lent because 1) My job requires that I use it, but even more importantly 2) It was way too hard and extreme.

However, I did have a little twinge of jealousy on Easter when all my erstwhile Facebook friends reappeared and were like, “oh hi we didn’t miss this at all C ya!” I wish I had their iron wills and subsequent freedom, ya know? But I don’t.

What I do have are Googling fingers and the ability to compile a list, so if you’re also searching for an app to break you free from app addiction, this is for you.

Apps to Get You Off Apps

1. Offtime (iPhone and Android)

This app allows you to choose distracting apps (hello Facebook!) to block, and filters communication for set periods of time. It also provides analytics in case you’re brave enough to see how much time you actually spend on Facebook. (I’m not.)

2. BreakFree (iPhone and Android)

This app also provides analytics to scare you straight, but it filters the analytics into an “addiction score.” It logs everything from how often you unlock your phone to how often you get on the internet, and allows you to try to lower your addiction score. Which sounds a lot more fun than just being whammied by depressing analytics, imo.

3. Focus Lock (Android) and Flipd (iPhone)

These apps block notifications from apps rather than the apps themselves, which is helpful if you need to use certain apps for work but struggle to stay on-task when you hear the siren song of Twitter notifications.

4. Power Focus (iPhone)

This is a countdown timer that blocks apps for pre-determined chunks of time. It can be paused in case of emergency and provides you with daily productivity monitoring.

5.Zero Willpower (iPhone)

This explicitly-named app does virtue for you, by blocking distracting sites of your choice. The default sites are,,,,,,, and, but you can customize the app to block whatever your flavor of distraction happens to be.

If none of these work for you, you can always replace all your apps with Nothing. Or, you know, throw your phone in a lake. Either way.

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