Google aims to curb tech addiction with ‘Digital Wellbeing’

Google aims to curb tech addiction with ‘Digital Wellbeing’

Internet behemoth Google recently announced a slew of features intended toward the well-being of its users. Dubbed as “Digital Wellbeing,” the initiative is a collection of apps and features that the company claims will enable users to make productive use of their time while on Android devices. According to the tech giant, the new features would permit users to keep a track of the time spent on social media, block distracting notifications and reduce the vibrancy of the screen during bedtime that would ultimately help in reining in tech addiction.

App Dashboard will highlight time spent on device

One of the important features of Google’s Digital Wellbeing is the App Dashboard. This feature will highlight the frequency with which one checks his/her phone as well as the overall time spent on the device. It would also give information about the time a person spends on individual apps like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Users can set time limits on the apps they feel are taking up most of their time and a warning will be issued when one nears the end of the time period allocated.

The effort also allows a user to block notifications with ease and at will. All one needs to do is keep the phone face-down which will activate the “do not disturb” mode of the device without any manual interference. Elaborating on this, Sameer Samat, vice-president, product management at Google, said, “Our team has heard so many stories from people trying to find the right balance with technology.” He further went on to say that people often struggle to be truly present because of the constant bombardment of notifications. However, research does put a question mark on the efficacy of this feature as, it has been observed that while a constant barrage of notifications prompts anxiousness, muting notifications does not help either and in fact, leads to a heightened sense of anxiety.

The third feature is Wind Down, meant to be used during bedtime. When activated, the feature turns the device’s screen’s color scheme to grayscale. This feature bears resemblance to Apple’s Night Shift Feature which alters the color scheme of the screen from bright blue to one tinged with orange. However, unlike iPhone, Google’s Wind Down is backed by little evidence and it remains to be seen how removing colors from the display affects one’s productivity and mood.

Smartphone addiction can trigger anxiety

It is beyond contention that smartphones and gadgets alike have become an integral part of human lives. However, this relationship is not without its fair share of tribulations. People are increasingly becoming nomophobic and finding themselves on the cusp of various impulse-control issues. Research has pointed out that excessive use of smartphones is often symptomatic of various underlying issues, such as depression, anxiety, stress and loneliness. Addiction to smartphones can exacerbate attention deficit disorders and fuel anxiety.

According to a study by the University of Derby and the Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom, people with mental disorders are more likely to be addicted to smartphones. The findings also proved that individuals not good at conveying their emotions are more prone to such a problem. Moreover, excessive smartphone usage can lead to lack of sleep, affecting a person’s ability to think clearly.

Mental health should be given priority

Just like we take care of our physical health, it is paramount that we give importance to our psychological well-being as well. A healthy mind is the door to a life full of happiness and satisfaction.

If you know someone suffering from any kind of mental illness, contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline. Our representatives, available 24/7 on our mental health live chat, will address all your queries related to mental health and help you find the best rehabilitation centers as per your needs. Call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline number (855) 653-8178 or chat live with an expert on our mental health chat to know more.