Young people are leveraging tech to be more productive

As young consumers examine and subsequently push back against the increasingly dependent relationship they have with their digital devices, which were engineered to ensure addiction, they’re embracing the irony of using additional technology in the form of apps to cultivate mindfulness around their personal tech usage. 


ZenScreen, the first A.I.-powered solution that is meant to help users achieve a balanced digital diet, heavily emphasizes the holistic health component inherent to its tech. The app analyzes users’ behavior on both mobile and desktop devices for a cross-platform view of their comprehensive digital use by category. The breakdown is visualized in a pyramid meant to recall the food pyramid and delineates usage by entertainment, education, or productivity. ZenScreen also has other features like Smart Mornings, Daily Limit, Calm Nights, and Quiet Time to further customize the experience of mindfulness around digital consumption.


Positioned as a “healthier home app” that is designed to reduce unconscious mobile usageSiempo helps over-connected consumers take back control of their digital dependence by swapping a user’s home screen for a minimalist interface that removes notification-besieged and alluringly colorful icons. The Android app also allows the user to batch their notifications to arrive at any time or interval the user desires, thus eliminating a nonstop onslaught of distraction. Siempo’s original concept started as a distraction-free phone but when its Kickstarter failed to get full funding the creators pivoted to a more adoptable service.


Norwegian app Hold takes the carrot, rather than the stick, approach to assisting in a digital detox: the app rewards students for not checking their phones while they’re at school. Using Hold’s highly-incentivized platform, students accumulate 10 points for every 20 minutes they don’t use their phone during school hours. Once accumulated, their points can be exchanged for goods and services such as free coffees and popcorn at the movies that are available via the app’s marketplace. Gamifying the act of unplugging helps entice younger consumers to reduce their usage.