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How We Lose Billions Of Hours And Money On Social Apps Without Even Noticing It

How We Lose Billions Of Hours And Money On Social Apps Without Even Noticing It

The time and money we spend on social apps is shocking, and here’s the truth revealed:

People spend 1.15 billion hours each month on playing mobile games.

Games rank second behind social media activity in terms of time spent on devices according to a survey conducted in 2016.[1]

On average, we spend 2 hours on social media apps per day, which add up to 5 years and 4 months over a lifetime.[2]

In case you’re wondering, you can actually fly to the moon and back to Earth for 32 times with that time!!

And it’s not just the time that we’re losing.

Social apps gain millions of dollars from us every day.

Many of us don’t mind spending a dollar or 2 on mobile apps—multiple dollars, on multiple apps.

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For instance, one of the top-grossing games in the App Store Pokemon Go, earns as much as $2.3 million per day; while another popular game, Candy Crush, makes $1.1 million a day.[3]

Now you’re probably a little concerned about the time and money you’ve been spending on apps, so it would be a good idea to look at why this is happening, and what you can do about it.

We spend a lot of time on our mobile because we feel bored easily and our phone is too handy.

Boredom doesn’t make us happy and it’s natural that we want to get rid of it no matter what, and impulsive behaviour, such as playing with the phone, is our way of doing it.

Our phone provides us with a comforting escape from boredom—endless scrolling might be mind-numbing but it’s still better than doing nothing, and we just can’t stop.

The reason why social media apps seem so attractive is that they give us (a bit of) the excitement we crave when we’re bored. On top of that is their convenience, since we always have our phones nearby and unlocking them only takes 1 second.

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But do you know that playing with the phones can’t really kill our boredom?

We thought playing with the phones could keep us busy and happy, but science says the opposite:[4]

A research by Temple University shows that mindlessly playing with our phones actually eats away at our patience as well as self-control. The more time we spend on mobile apps, the more easily we feel bored. We also end up getting more impulsive, which means we become less able to resist our phones.

The more time we spend on mobile apps, the more difficult to resist them. The boredom in us simply will never be killed.

Although it is normal for us to reach out to our phones when we feel bored, it’s still possible to avoid the downward spiral. You just need to pay attention to how you spend your time.

Here are several tips that can help you detox from social media addiction.

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Challenge yourself not to check your phone during idle time.

You can also try to train yourself to be patient. Set some rules for yourself about using social media apps[5]. For instance, challenge yourself to not check your phone when waiting for the bus or queueing up at Starbucks. Be comfortable with a little boredom. It’s just a few minutes, anyway.

Hide your social apps or games in a folder on the last page of your phone, and mute their notifications.

Stopping once you’ve started is so much harder than not starting at all.[6] If you don’t open the app in the first place, you won’t have to worry about it.

What you can do is to mute the notifications of your addicted apps, put them into a folder, and drag the folder to the last page of your phone. So when you unlock your phone and arrive on the first page, it’s not so easy to access them.

Try to keep the temptations away is a good way to stop yourself from impulsively looking at the apps. Out of sight, out of mind.

Actively explore for more interesting activities that go beyond your phone.

You have to realize that you have a life outside of your Facebook, Instagram, etc., and that Candy Crush is not the only fun thing you can do.

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Go out with friends and talk to them instead of posting on their Walls; read books instead of checking Instagram stories; or try baking desserts instead of crushing candies…and more to go on the list.

When you learn to appreciate and enjoy the interesting things in the real world, you won’t go back to your phone that often any more.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to cut mobile apps out of your life entirely. Just be careful why you’re using them.

Ask yourself: do I really have fun playing with my phone, or am I just bored? Can I do something else instead and have a great time?

Reference

More by this author

Wen Shan

Proud Philosophy grad. Based in HK.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

1. Lumosity

This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

    2. Fit Brains Trainer

    This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

    Free.

    Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

      3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

      Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

      First four games free, then $13 a month.

      cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

        4. Brain Fitness Pro

        The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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        Buy for $3.99.

        5. Happify

        If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

        Free to use.

        Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

          6. Clockwork Brain

          You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

          Free.

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          Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            7. ReliefLink

            Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

            Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

              8. Eidetic

              Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

              Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                9. Braingle

                Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                Free.

                Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                  10. Not The Hole Story

                  If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                  Free.

                  Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    11. Personal Zen

                    This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                    Free.

                    personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

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                      Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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