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How Google is working to stop smartphone addiction


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Sure, advancements in technology have improved access to mental-health screenings, made tracking your period way simpler, and provided dreamy insight to help optimize your sleep game. But, sometimes that access and ease comes with a not-so-great hidden price (for instance, your sex life might suffer). To help keep your relationship with tech healthy, Google just unveiled a number of innovations that aim to challenge and inform the ways in which we interact with our devices and the internet.

During Google’s annual I/O conference, CEO Sundar Pichai shared a number of ways the company and its brands, including YouTube and Android, are developing measures to curb, change, and improve our screen-related habits. Most notably, Google launched Digital Wellbeing, an initiative that breaks down our techy tendencies so everyone has “the tools they need to develop their own sense of digital wellbeing,” the site states.

As part of the Digital Wellbeing initiative, YouTube will now allow users to set custom “take a break” reminders that encourage you to step away for a moment to do something else.

As part of this initiative, YouTube will now allow users to set custom “take a break” reminders that encourage you to step away for a moment to do something else. Also, a new YouTube dashboard will provide summaries of your behavior while on the platform. (Ready or not, you’re about know exactly how long you’ve been watching.)

Furthermore, starting this summer, Android users will get even more tech-curbing tools through several new features, including app timers that will allow you to set a limit on how long you, say, mindlessly scroll social media. Once you’ve hit your time limit, the app will nudge you before graying out the screen. Additionally, the devices will feature a dashboard that will provide a number of stats—like how much time you spend on each app, how many notifications you’ve received, and, probably most frighteningly, how many times you’ve unlocked your phone.

Hey, if you’re a die-hard Apple devotee (I know I’m not alone), these tech-life balancing features serve as pretty convincing evidence to consider switching teams.

Smartphone addiction is no joke, which is why someone created this phone-like fidget spinner.

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