INNOVATION

Reality Check: This App Measures How Much Time You Spend On Social Media

And how many times you check your phone each day.

04/02/2017 8:06 AM AEDT | Updated 04/02/2017 8:08 AM AEDT
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Why enjoy a view like that when you could be staring at your phone?

The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. And if that's the average, it means some people are checking it a helluva lot more. What that statistic doesn't cover though, is how much time is spent on the device.

AntiSocial, an app developed by Melbourne tech company Bugbean, has just launched to give you the harsh facts when it comes to just how addicted to your phone you really are.

It monitors your smartphone usage, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram as well as emails and games. You can benchmark your behaviour against peers, comparing usage to others in your age range, state, or even occupation.

"Although other social monitoring Apps exist, AntiSocial is the first to use technology to pinpoint individual Apps and produce accurate reports as well as enabling users to check if they are higher or lower than someone of a similar demographic," Chris Eade, Managing Director of Bugbean said in a brand statement.

"The aim of app is to help us understand what normal is when it comes to how much time we truly spend on our phones. There is so much noise in the media about this issue but most of the data is anecdotal without any real data. Our data will solve this problem."

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Your best friend or worst enemy?

The app has launched on Googleplay, so it's available for Android users to download now.

"We are encouraging Android users to download the app for at least two weeks so they get an accurate reading of their habits. Initial trials have shown that once it's downloaded, people tend to change their behaviour for the first few days but once the app is forgotten about the true data comes to life," Eade said.

With the links to social media addiction and low self esteem (and even depression), learning just how excessive your behaviour is can be the first step to changing it.

"This App truly excites me," said Wollongong University's Professor Katina Michael. Michael specialises in online addiction.

"I have been working within the social implications of technology space for 20 years and this is the first of its kind. It exists to help people be mindful of their phone usage and hopefully it will encourage people to reflect on their personal goals and patterns of interaction with others in their physical surrounds. If Fitbits are the answer to improving our physical health, AntiSocial is the App for our mental health."

The app doesn't track time of inactive apps so if you come out of Facebook Messenger for instance, that time will stop being tracked. None of the data captured will be used unethically and the Privacy Policy ensures that AntiSocial can't read into sensitive information.

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