The “always on” culture in today’s world is starting to shift. And more and more technology is being infused with humanity. These advancements in technology allow us to connect with ourselves, while simultaneously having a better experience with technology. (Intrigued? Check out the THRIVE App here.)
An app called Hold is gaining steam among millennials who want to establish better boundaries with technology. The app, which was designed by students for students launched in February of 2016, and, according to The Guardian, is being used by 40 percent of students in Norway.
So how does it work? Hold has you click a button to start a timer. Your next challenge, stay off your phone. The app incentivizes time spent off of your phone (every 20 minutes equals one point), so the longer you can go without it, the more points you rack up. These reward points can be exchanged with partner businesses for “coffee, snacks, cinema tickets and physical products,” according to Business Insider.
Hold capitalizes on rewards, the very thing that makes smartphones so addictive. Smartphones give us intermittent variable rewards, according to former Google Design Ethicist and Time Well Spent movement founder Tristan Harris. These rewards come from everything from seeing a stream of notifications when unlocking your phone to seeing who you matched with on Tinder. But now Hold is changing the reward game. By creating a reward for not engaging with your phone the company wants to “to change long-term habits,” says the app creator, Maths Methiesen. He adds, “We want [people’s] relationship to their phones to change.”
Check out the app here.