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Health

Need help putting your phone down? This free app activates 'monk mode' for you

Freedom is a productivity app that helps you keep your phone away when you need to fully concentrate on a task. Here's how it works.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
teen on phone
agil73/Getty Images

If you turn off your phone's Screen Time tracker because you don't like to see how many hours you've spent on your phone, you're not alone. However, an app called Freedom can help you take control of your screen time.

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Susie Alegre, a human rights lawyer and author, told the BBC it can be difficult not to spend hours on her smartphone through willpower alone. Most people need an app or distraction to fight the allure of their smartphones.

With the Freedom app, you can block your phone from accessing certain apps and websites or block your phone from accessing the internet. 

You can decide how long Freedom blocks your phone from apps and websites, and you can stop the timer early if necessary. However, an option called "locked mode" won't allow you to stop your timer early.

Apps like Freedom come during a time when Do Not Disturb is not enough to keep most people from picking up their phones too often.

Young people these days are trying to achieve "monk mode," a term for completing tasks with total concentration and no technology or other distractions. With highly addictive algorithms designed to keep your attention and constant notifications pinging, apps like Freedom make "monk mode" more attainable.

Also: 5 simple ways to ditch doom-scrolling and beat screen fatigue

The founder and CEO of Freedom, Fred Stutzman, told the BBC he created the app while he was in college because he spent too much time on Facebook and not enough time writing his dissertation.

If you're having trouble going "monk mode," you can download Freedom for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

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