Apps to Help You Reclaim Your Attention

Forest logoCan you remember the last time you were in complete control of your own attention? Do you find your phone in your hand during any fleeting moment of boredom?Essayist Craig Mod recently asked himself this question in an article for Backchannel titled “How I Got My Attention Back.” The piece is well worth your attention. Craig writes:

“It’s become common to talk of the “weaponization” of attention. As in: The attention of Americans was weaponized to make facts out of falsities. I think this framing does a disservice to the crux of the problem. It’s not that our attention has been weaponized, a word that vanishes in hyperbole, but rather, mechanized. As in: Our attentions have been wrest from our control, like a flock of android starlings, or a million IP enabled toasters. We were reasonably autonomous things. Now we’re indifferently synchronous, easily manipulated.”

One might argue that the best way to fight fire is with fire, and so in that spirit, we thought we’d share two apps which are designed to help you be more mindful of how you’re directing your attention, as featured in Mashable’s recent app round-up:

Forest (iOS & Android): Forest is an app to help you control your phone addiction. When you want to focus, select for how long and hit Start. The app “plants” a tree that starts growing when you keep your phone aside. Do anything with your phone and the tree dies — start over, black thumb! As you keep focusing longer and longer, you build up a forest of your progress. Best of all, you can spend your points towards planting real trees.

Space (iOS only): Space uses neuroscience to help you kick your app addictions. You can choose the list of apps that you want some space from. Then, when you try to open those apps, you’ll experience a moment of peaceful meditation before it loads:

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