As recently featured in the Guardian article ‘Appy New Year: the best apps to help you achieve your resolutions for 2017’ the BreakFree app aims to empower people to take greater control of their smartphone use. This reflects the growing discussion around what has been termed digital addiction – the use of digital technologies in a compulsive or excessive way that may facilitate harm to the users. As argued in the work published to date by the ESOTICS group digital technologies such as smartphones have many benefits and are an ingrained aspect of daily life, however there can be a tension between the desire to remain connected to the world and the need for time offline.
More details on that can be found on the Digital Addiction and Digital Motivation research projects. The ESOTICS group at Bournemouth University and the team of BreakFree have entered into a partnership to explore this important issue in greater depth. By collaborating on this area it is hoped that strategies can be developed and tested that further enable people to use their smartphones in a more balanced and productive way. The new version of Breakfree, to be launched later this year, will incorporate these strategies.