George Carter
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ScreenZen – Digital Detox Heaven

| Sunday 15th October, 2023

ScreenZen is the app I thought I would have to write for myself.

I had recently downloaded the android developer environment and started learning the Kotlin language and android ecosystem to develop a simple mindfulness app.

It needed to give a “mindfulness timer” before opening any app to give you, say thirty seconds to think about whether it was really important to check right now.

I knew that Minimal Launcher had the timer, but I wasn’t keen on its layout and other operations.

ScreenZen does it perfectly though. Actually, not quite perfectly because the app you choose sometimes pops up before the screen gets blocked. But that’s a minor annoyance and doesn’t really detract from its fitness for purpose.

You can disable ScreenZen for a set amount of time – perfect when I’m going networking and need quick access to my sign-up form for The Life Explorer. I disable ScreenZen for 180 minutes and it keeps out of my way completely.

But when it’s active it gives reminders, optionally lengthens the ‘mindful delay’ each time you open an app, and I’ve set a delay of two minutes before I can even alter the settings.

We should have great willpower, shouldn’t we? But as we know, ‘should’ is a lie. We don’t have willpower and that’s why ScreenZen is a perfect accompaniment to digital minimalism and digital detox for those who aren’t able to ditch their smartphone entirely.

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