During the pandemic, when everything around us suddenly changed and we had to learn new ways of building up personal and professional relationships, we have clearly noticed our dependency on smartphones. We realized a growing discrepancy of how we wanted to spend our time vs. how we were actually spending it. Scrolling through social media, checking emails, streaming videos or playing games on our phones was a constant distraction. Lina and I were already annoyed by some of our phone habits before the pandemic, but this feeling got supercharged during the lockdowns.
When we first started with our initial research we had underestimated how big the actual issue is. The topic of problematic phone use and smartphone addiction was already widely discussed among scholars, with a clear consensus that high phone use can negatively impact us in various aspects of our lives. After understanding the magnitude of the problem and seeing how many people were affected in various ways we decided to dedicate more of our time to find potential solutions. Easier said than done, as we are competing with some of the biggest players in tech who are investing billions of dollars every year to engage their audience even more. After all, higher screen time and higher engagement also means more profits for them.