Update: Apple just announced Screen Time and Do Not Disturb features which share much overlap like Allowance and usage stats
“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.”
Have you ever closed Facebook just to immediately open it up again a second later for no reason? At times even the strongest of will powers succumb to social media and games when they should be focusing elsewhere. Paradoxically, sometimes the best thing our phones could do is encourage us to put them down for a bit and drive our attention elsewhere. While Apple has historically focused on physical health with its Health and Activity apps, emphasis on mental wellbeing has been minimal.
In my previous concept Do Not Disturb Recipes I discussed how smart notifications could drastically minimize distractions-
Imagine the next time you have a tight deadline, you could easily restrict Instagram access for 45 minutes to keep you focused on the task at hand…
Once restricted, Instagram’s icon becomes grayscale in order to make the app less appealing and discourage use. If the user caves in and wants to use the app before the timer is up, the lock screen could serve as the first line of defense by displaying an encouraging message along with a countdown time. If they get past the lock screen, tapping the grayscale Instagram icon could display the following:
If worst comes to worst and the user gives up, there are some interesting possibilities to regain access:
- Game– solving a memory puzzle, or playing simple trivia just annoying enough to discourage users.
- Physical exercise– performing jumping jacks or a running a lap around the block (using phone’s sensors)
- Social pressure– sending a text or tweeting a humorous message indicating weak will power
- 3rd Parties– maybe allow for integration with other apps for more interesting possibilities
- Donations– to your favorite nonprofit, or maybe one you despise
- Restart phone