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These Apps Are Helping Users Put The Smartphone Down

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Did you know the average person checks their smartphone 47 times a day?

If you're between the ages of 18-24, that number goes up to 86.

So, it's not surprising that software developers have come up with new ways to kick the habit.

Researchers at San Francisco State University recently compared our smartphone dependency to that of substance abuse, saying it can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation, even lead to anxiety and depression.

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So, some tech companies are doing something about it by developing apps that actually help us put the phone down.

From those that block distracting sites and let you set daily time limits, to apps that force you off your phone with annoying alerts, even lock you out completely.

The market is flooded with software aimed at making you more present and well, less addicted.

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But, are they really necessary?

"In order to make a change, you do need to know what your baseline is," said Dr. Brenda Curtis, who specializes in addiction research through social media at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine.

She stops short of calling excessive smartphone use an addiction but says it's important to consider how much time you're spending.

"Am I using it too much, is it interfering with my everyday life and the lives of those around me. If the answer is yes, you should probably reduce," said Curtis,

She likes the apps that track usage and offer rewards, like "Mute", which offers encouragement, or "Hold" that earns you free food and drink and "Forest," an app that allows you to build one or watch it wither away, depending on your use.


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