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Breaking Smartphone Addiction

We're all guilty to a greater or lesser degree... but the good news is that there's a new app to reward you for taking a break from your smartphone.

Smartphones are such a part of modern life that for many of us living without one feels impossible - and their power to distract has been shown to make people less productive. Now three young entrepreneurs who met at Copenhagen Business School—Maths Mathisen, Florian Winder and Vinoth Vinaya - have launched an app to combat smartphone addiction, particularly among students.

Called Hold, the free app tracks the continuous minutes during the day that a person doesn’t use their smartphone. It then awards the user points for showing restraint. The longer they resist checking their device, the more points they get. Those points can then be used to purchase products and services - such as cinema tickets - or enter competitions or donate to charity via the app’s marketplace.

“We want to reward users for not using their phone, rather than punish them,” says co-founder Maths Mathisen.

Trials at universities in Scandinavia and the UK have seen students report greater concentration levels as they hold off checking their phones for notifications.

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