Monitor Your App Use

Imani Simpson
2 min readApr 13, 2020

Mobile and web apps are being viewed differently since the pandemic. We now see how helpful technology can be in our day to day lives. With these superpower apps on our devices, it’s important to know how to use your powers wisely.

Over the span of a month I’ve better developed my relationship with technology by monitoring my app triggers. Also, by defining what each commonly used app meant to me.

Monitoring My App Triggers

I found that scrolling Instagram and Twitter were my most common app triggers. They had only left me feeling more anxious then before I opened either app. The news about COVID-19 was depressing, the memes were funny up until they weren’t and the amount of people expressing their deep emotions on Twitter made me nervous. Is this a social platform or a therapy session? I tend to follow people who post quality content and have a unique point of view. There was a tweet Naval Ravikant posted earlier this year (pre-pandemic) that stuck with me.

“The modern mental illness is anxiety. The evidence is pills, meditation apps, opioids and sleep trackers. The causes are over-socialization and overstimulation” — Naval

Although these apps are designed to help keep you engaged they aren’t entirely to blame. It’s the people who’ve created a habit around unproductively scrolling and screen watching for hours. Not seeing that it might be helpful to explore other apps that could be more useful in day to day life.

Defining App Roles

There are all types of apps that you can use to make something possible. Finance apps to track your spending, Lifestyle apps to shop, meet people and express yourself or Gaming apps to casually pass the time.

I like exploring a range of apps to see which app type provides utility in my everyday. For example I downloaded Duolingo a few months ago to start learning the basics in Mandarin. In less than a month I could have a passing conversation with the grocer at the local Asian market. To me, that was more valuable than drowning myself in moody news on Twitter.

You can find how valuable an app is by considering the impact it has on your day. Really examine what you might be getting out of the top 5 apps you use.

Plus, you can always view app usage on your phone. This is typically found in your settings.

Happy app-ing.