Facebook PixelPhone unlock function that keeps you aware of screen addiction
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Phone unlock function that keeps you aware of screen addiction

Image credit: Keanu Reeves meme

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 11, 2021
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Phone unlocking function that requires the correct answer to a thought-provoking question related to your screen addiction.

  • You have to read a thought-provoking paragraph of text, followed by a question with 3 possible answers. You unlock the phone by selecting the right answer that proves you understood the paragraph.
  • "Phones were supposed to be used for communication and to gather information. I mostly use my phone for: a) information; b) communication; c) most-used-app-#1; d) most-used-app-#2
  • "If you reached for the phone to get a quick dopamine boost by checking social media, how about this time you just don't do it?" a) Ok, I will turn the screen off; b) I want my dopamine boost, c) I need the phone for something else
  • "If you are going to check social media for a quick dopamine boost, how about you earn it first?" a) ok, I will spend a minute creating something first; b) I need my dopamine hit; c) I need the phone for something else
  • What else?
In some cases multiple answers unlock your phone. The point is to make you read them. If you try to click too fast, an additional sentence shows up: "Did you even read it?"

Why use something like this?

Rather than having the app restrict your phone use (as many of them do), this one just makes you aware of what you are doing. By making you think about the problem you will subconsciously build up a desire to defend yoruself and gradually practice keeping your impulses in check.
Creative contributions

Answers should be funny but at the same time sad facts about user's digital activity

Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 11, 2021
I think if the questions/answers were similar to those proposed in the idea description, users would quickly get annoyed because it would feel like a "dry" test and especially when this is necessary every time to unlock your phone. When annoyed they won't care that this is "for their own benefit", they would simply want to get rid of this function.

If instead, the correct answers were truths about their unhealthy phone use habits this would at least be something fun to do (self-irony). The trick of not turning this into just another dopamine hit when you don't care about the repercussions is to make the fact obviously sad at the same time. So instead of answering what's the correct way to behave users would be required to answer (guess) how they actually behave and then the phone would give the facts.

So first the sentence stating some known screen addiction-related fact would appear, e.g.: "Did you know that the maximum amount of time you can spend on social media per day while not being at risk of damaging your mental health is one hour?" Then the question would appear: "Do you know how much do you spend there per day on average?" and a few answer options below like 1, 3, 4, 6. Let's say the user chose 3, and the correct answer appears - "no, 6!".

Since the phone keeps track of user's activity on various apps and browsers it can make factual calculations and present them to that person. I also propose that instead of a phone unlocking function it would be an unlocking function for certain apps that the user spends the most time on. That way the unlocking act wouldn't be so annoying and the phone could present the person with facts about their digital habits that contrast the most with the healthy norms.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni3 years ago
I like the last point the most. In addition, if the time spent on social media on a day is negligible, there should be no questions to unlock the apps or the phone, as a reward.
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Michaela D
Michaela D3 years ago
I like it! So if you want to open Facebook, you could have a message like: "It's the 12th time today, just sayin'...". People could choose the style they prefer (dramatic, funny, etc..) that could work for them. Also, instead of using it to unlock specific apps, you could have it unlock the phone but with shortcut buttons that are not locked, for example, calls and camera.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
All good points 👌
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Addiction awareness app launcher instead of lock screen

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 13, 2021
As Michaela D suggested, the phone could refrain from annoying people if they use non-addictive apps. In that case, the default app launcher (not the lock screen) would be more suitable to take the role of the awareness app.
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