My friend Fiona recommended this app to me called Checky. You leave the app running in the background, and it calculates a how many times a day you check your phone.
Brilliant, right? And just what all of us need – something to keep our habitual phone checking behaviour in tact. The ultimate commitment device that tells you exactly how hooked to your mobile device you are.
Mark and I downloaded Checky on Friday night around 6pm. What was clear from the hour or so we had it installed on our phones was the degree to which both of us were completely mobile dependent.
From chronic email/Facebook/Instagram use, to an over-reliance on mobile phones for checking the time, the weather, directions, tube services, etc. There is no limit to which we rely on these tools. And the realization of this – in a quantifiable format – is scary.
Saturday rolls around, and Checky is running for a full day. After checking my phone 40 times (and Mark 60+), it’s clear we both have a problem.
To remedy it, we do what we always try to do – abstinence. As Sunday night came to a close it was clear that both of us were taking extreme measures to avoid using our phones.
I opened my laptop about 20 times today, I reckon. And Mark, who always texts me when he’s at the store or out and about, refrained from contacting me at all.
But it’s not just an embarrassingly unhealthy figure attached to our phone habits that’s preventing us from checking our devices. It’s our competitive streaks.
Starting today, Mark and I will compete to see who can check their phone less in the span of two weeks. The loser will have to forfeit their device for a total of 3 whole days. A prize I was quite excited about, Mark not so much.
With that in mind, we’ll see who will win. (Me.)