How To Limit Your Quarantine Screen-Time, Now More Than Ever!
The Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected not only the general well-being of people worldwide. Still, it has also resulted in the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty among children, students, and various other stakeholders in the learning cycle. In the Indian context, a lot of efforts and investments are being pooled into bridging the educational digital-divide through the means of online classes, assessments, and the like.
While technology has taken over our lives, we must remember its share of offering advantages. The mobile apps that we use have become little pockets of knowledge and have substituted and aided the intellectual sector. Apart from the government; Education companies and their specific apps like Khan Academy or Byjus focus on school-learning, whereas DuoLingo has stepped into making ‘foreign’ language learning more accessible.
Many players like WifiStudy, who stepped in through content-creation, have also marked their niche in the Indian entrance examination preparation. Looking at all these examples and the others surrounding, it can be said that information is being more available, and thus it now relies more on the learner (the student) in making use of it.
Even though the efforts are to be appreciated, it has to be remembered that online aid can perhaps never substitute for actual ‘in-moment’ human interaction. Being social animals, it is only imperative that we might get tired of watching through the medium of rectangular screens. Given the restrictions in the learning process, there has been a slowdown in the efficiency, which has, in turn, resulted in the lack of concentration.
A critical factor in the reduction in concentration span is also a significant share of our time, which we use in engaging on our social media or in consuming content. According to the report from the analytics firm App Annie of android phones, the time spent by Indians on smartphones increased by 24% to 4.3 hours per day in March, driven primarily by the lockdown. This is a remarkable rise as compared to the 3.5 hours of average a day in the past year.
To keep one going even in this time of our ever-increasing dependency on our smartphones, following is a list of ‘focused’ apps with a twist which regulates in restricting one’s social media distractions while enjoying the process!
Forest App: Stay focused, Be Present!
Anjori, a college student and a regular user of the Forest app, states, “These apps are helpful, especially ‘Forest’ since I have felt a change in my phone usage pattern. It’s not very effective on the initial days, but it pools us into the habit of tracking our screen time. At the end of the day, it is all about your self-control, but then again, these apps do help to maintain that.”
This well-designed productivity app comes with its USP of converting the idea of focusing on a fun game. The app works on the concept of holding and growing one’s virtual trees by all the time that has been dedicated to work and study. We can set a time limit for the ‘focus’ and are not able to access the social media apps in that due course of time.
By doing this and complying with our deadlines, our tree flourishes. If we leave the app, it dies. The heavy on storage app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for 25 minutes then take 5 minutes off. In collaboration with the movement of ‘Trees for future,’ the application company claims to have planted over 8,45,013 trees! Working through the app is an excellent way of remaining away from distractions while contributing to a real cause.
Link to the app (Google Playstore): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cc.forestapp
(Apple App store): https://apps.apple.com/us/app/forest-stay-focused/id866450515
Digitox: Digital Wellbeing and Screen Time
Developed under the branch of Google’s Well-being apps category, the Digitox app by Phosphorus is designed to help one control, observe, and regulate the screen time. They focus on assisting users in reclaiming their attention, time, and focusing. The app is light only takes a minute space. It speaks and explains itself as effective against Nomophobia (the discomfort or anxiety experienced while keeping away from any digital screen as the phone or computer).
It aids one in understanding the digital habits and patterns for selected applications. The battery-friendly app provides the user with a daily usage report at different points of time weekly. The digital limit reminders can help one to shake off the screen pattern. The great takeaway for all through such apps is the constant reminder of the life outside our screens!
Link to the app (Google Playstore):
(Apple App store): The app is not available on this platform.
Study Bunny: Focus Timer
“I like the colors and different modes of ‘Study Bunny,’ I use it from my mom’s phone for homework,” says Shubham, who is a 12-year-old.
The name of this app straight off lands us to someplace closer to having a study buddy! The cute graphics are quite a sell along with customization options on the colors of the study session and subject. The learner can set up a timer according to the needs and earn coins. A detailed color-coded graph on the study statistics makes the app no less than a study-tracking journal. One can also edit the statistics by the week.
The gamification in the app takes another turn for the coins earned through the learning hours that can be used to buy music or other items ranging anywhere from a doughnut or a chicken for our virtual bunny from the store. It also includes more study tools like the To-Do list and Flashcards.
The creators offer a new feature background to customize the bunny space with each update, which can keep a learner interested in the process. Furthermore, the app provides a pause button wherein motivational advice is popped up. The users find it extra cute, and the developments in the bunny’s world keep them encouraged!
Link to the app (Google Play Store):
(Apple App store): https://apps.apple.com/cy/app/study-bunny-focus-timer/id1478345385
It is only interesting to see how the digital space is being customized for all with each passing day and is relocating us to shift on the statistics and the data about our working. While the apps facilitate us into a better understanding, the rest is upon us.
To aid the effectiveness, we can perhaps also use a combination of Quiz taking apps to access the actual result. We must also remember that they are not only restricted to the studying pattern; it is about what tasks do we get done when not on our screens, be it the delaying workout or the incomplete book. The goal, in the end, always remains to keep learning!
*The list in this article is not exhaustive and is a take on the apps we explored!