A new app, One Sec, offers to breathe ten seconds before you open certain apps, to determine if you really want to open them.
Breathing can help you reduce screen time. According to an article before Business interestedCreated two years ago, One Sec offers a simple trick to reduce your dependence on certain apps: just take a deep breath before opening them. This will allow you to be more intentional in the way you use your phone, as the US news site explains.
For example, when a user wants to open the Twitter app, One Sec displays a full-screen animation associated with the vibrations, then a 10-second breathing exercise. After this step, you are presented with two options: “I don’t want to open Twitter” or “Continue on Twitter”. This forces users to think about why they are opening the app and saves them from doing so mechanically.
In addition to the 10-second pause, One Sec shows the user how many times they have tried to open the app in question in the last 24 hours. Another tool requires you to specify why you want to open it, like “work” or “can’t sleep” for example. One Sec finally offers to send a notification when a user spends several minutes on an app.
Follow a circle or turn on the front camera
The breathing exercise is not the only one that the app offers. To prevent users from getting used to and ending up automatically overtaking this intervention, One Sec changes the animation that appears before opening the app: sometimes it’s a breathing exercise, sometimes it might ask you to follow a circle on a blank screen or turn on the front-facing camera, so that the user can see themselves.
According to a study by Friedrich Riedel, the German developer of the app, conducted with the Max Planck Institute and Heidelberg University in 2022, One Sec reduced screen time for those who used it by 57%. According to Riddell, 1 million people have downloaded the app. Sensor Tower, the independent tracker, puts the figure at 600,000 downloads, according to a Business Insider report.
Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or Twitter can waste a lot of time. The algorithms of these applications are developed to keep the user as long as possible on the networks. Screen addiction isn’t without consequences: People who spend seven or more hours on their phones are at increased risk of depression, according to studies cited by Business Insider.
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