Have we become hostages to our phones?
While life is objectively better nowadays, many studies report that people are suffering more health wise and the heart of wellbeing ratio lays on the intensely emerging technologies and its new life implications.
‘Wellbeing’ becomes one of the hottest topics in our life over the past decade, and according to Brand Health Tracker Program (2018), almost a quarter of adults worldwide stated that mental health and stress are one of the leading health problems they are dealing with in their countries.
As part of a generation that can not imagine a life without the internet, predictably, we became dependent on smartphones. As indicated by Wired, the usage of smartphones has increased to almost 20 hours per week amongst UK adults. Another study conducted by research firm Dscout also claims that mobile users touch their phone at least 2,617 times a day, and this fast-growing tendency is assuredly only set to increase. Many researchers already confirmed that our phones have negatively affected people’s cognitive functions, sleep patterns and eyesights. The lockdown period has only boomed it while people get stuck in their home.
Almost every day, new and new technologies appear, and thousands of ideas are patenting. In this new reality, as a targeted group, we get too much influenced by these technologies and spend most of our time exploring them, and unawarely become obvious hostages to our phones and fall into that net of mental and physical vulnerabilities.
To reduce this addiction, Google has released an app named “Digital Wellbeing”. It helps us to reduce the phone dependence by suggesting various useful functions such as setting a timer and limits on applications, bedtime mode and focus mode modifications.
A little story behind
Google launched the app for its Pixel lineup in August 2018. After launching several beta versions, Google finally released a stable version and expanded its product for non-Google devices too. Today more and more technology companies started to implement such a tool in their Android smartphones. The OnePlus company, for instance, has released its own digital wellbeing tool ‘Zen Mode’. As per a recently leaked insider information, Google aims to make it mandatory to install the app to all Android smartphones on Android 9.0 or Android 10.0 operating systems in order to enrich their Google Mobile Services (GMS).
The main features
The “Digital wellbeing” gives not only the ability to disconnect from our devices in time but also provides a detailed statistic on how long we used our mobile or how much time was spend on each application.
These features can help to be aware of the time we spend with our digital friends and thereby consciously reduce it by setting the required limitations and restrictions where needed.
How often we get distracted from essential work by our calls or countless notifications? The app suggests ‘Focus Mode’ to avoid such problems. Once it turns on, it automatically disables the selected apps.
‘Bedtime Mode’ is another useful feature which allows minimising the disturbance while we are sleeping. By scheduling this option, the phone automatically switches to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode as well as deliberately removes all colours on the screen by leaving only black and white colours and signalling the need to get ready for bed. This feature adds up in disconnecting us from the outer world and guarantee sound sleep.
The Digital Wellbeing app also features parental control. It helps parents to keep an eye on their kids’ phone habits and set required limitations. Therefore, parents can be sure that their kids are not involved in dangerous games or activities. ‘Parental Control’ function can also allow parents to see the statistics of phone usage by kids.
The “Digital Wellbeing” is a useful tool for managing our phone habits for any age group. Such apps help people to explore and use technology in a more functional way, to be more productive and spend more time with our loved ones.
We hope that Google or any other company will design new additional features like a ‘Hydrate mode’, ‘Sugar control assistant’ or ‘Password wallet’ that will allow us to enhance our phone usage experiences and contribute to a healthy and happy life.