I was just at a posh Beverly Hills party last night and the dinner table conversation turned to our mutual phone addictions. Everyone knows we’ve all hit the tipping point with not being able to disconnect, but, how to solve the problem is a whole other ball of wax. In the age of hyperactivity, most of us acknowledged we needed an intervention but had no idea where to go for help.
It was ironic, but the very next morning I found the answer. A new app that is appropriately named OffTime. The way it works is simple. OffTime is like a reverse alarm clock: Instead of setting a time when you want your phone to go on, you set a time for when you want it to go off.
The strictness is totally up to you. The app offers a complete menu of “Unplugging”– muted notifications, restricted app and internet access, and polite auto-replies to texts. There are options for “Focused Work” and “Family Time” or you can create your own blockade (while always letting certain special contacts through, of course). OffTime also charts your phone and individual app usage so you can keep tabs on your progress.
As we head into the holidays it seems like just the right time to take a self-imposed break. Take a breath, exhale, and relax. You could actually enjoy honest to goodness OffTime. Good luck!
NJ Goldston, The Brunette