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Can’t get off your phone? This app is tackling social media addiction in a unique way

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As we rely more and more on our smartphones to the point of addiction, a Melbourne-based software development company has launched an app to help us track our behaviour.

AntiSocial has been developed to monitor smartphone usage including social media apps such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram as well as emails and gaming so users can benchmark their behaviour against peers.

Users will be able to see which apps they spend the most amount of time on, at what times of day and cross reference their usage stats with others in the their age range, state and even occupation.

Chris Eade, Managing Director of parent company Bugbean, said: “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.

“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.

Chris Eade
Chris Eade

“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.

“AntiSocial does not 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 our Privacy Policy ensures that we can’t read into sensitive information pertaining to individuals.”

Katina Michael
Katina Michael

Wollongong University’s Professor Katina Michael, who specialises in online addiction, says: “This app truly excites me. 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 Fitbit’s are the answer to improving our physical health, AntiSocial is the app for our mental health!”

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