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Kicking Smartphone Addiction: There's an App for That

A new iPhone app called "Pause" promises to help problem smartphone users dial back.

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"Pause the digital. Start the real." Photo via

By Bryan Le

06/10/13

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Does your smartphone hold the key to beating your smartphone addiction? This is the claim of a new app called "Pause" that promises to help addicted smartphone users rejoin the "real world." According to a poll from last year, 84% of the globe is "addicted to cellphones," and tech expert Mary Meeker claims that the average smartphone owner looks at their device 150 times a day. Dependence on this 21st Century narcotic can make life unmanageable, and not everyone can afford digital detox summer camp. But Pause, currently for iPhones only, operates on the assumption that forcing mobile-dependents to turn off their wifi signals can help them let go of their obsession—at least momentarily. “Pause is a mobile app designed to help us reconnect with real life," says the app's description. "Pause helps us to reduce our dependency on digital media and in turn free us up to do something more." The free app works by encouraging users to set their phones on "airplane mode," ceasing all wifi, 3G and cell connectivity for a stretch of face time with the real world. To boost motivation, Pause keeps track of how long you stay offline so you can try to beat your own “high score,” or even compete with your friends over who is able to go the longest without caving to the lure of connection. But while cutting off all modes of communication may be a short-term solution, it can't stop you from developing a Candy Crush problem.

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