An app that aims to reduce smartphone addiction? Yes, such a thing exists

Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 20:45:02-04

DENVER -- If you look around you it seems like everyone is on their phones all the time, and psychologists say this is having a big impact on families.

A CNN study shows more than half of teens think they are addicted to their smart phones.

Researchers at UCLA released a report saying all this time we spend on our phones is having a very negative impact on teens and families because we aren't talking to each other as much, and younger people are having a hard time reading emotions and maintaining concentration.

The app Breakfree is trying to cut down on this smartphone screen time.  

The app calculates an “addiction score,” by monitoring how many times a day you unlock your phone, and how many minutes you use your phone.

The idea is to get the lowest addiction score possible, and you can track your progress over weeks and months.

The results may surprise you.

The Van Metre family tracked its smartphone use for an entire month, and were shocked to find the two parents Bonnie and Steve and their oldest daughter used their phones for about four hours a day each.

Their younger two children used the phone or iPad, for about two and-a-half hours a day.

"The more they're on the phone, the more it becomes who they are and their habits, and that is, I think, ultimately what I'm most concerned about, is having adults that don't know how to find time to fill their day without picking up their phone," said Bonnie Van Metre.

The family is encouraging others to track their smartphone use because the results may shock them into changing their habits.