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New Thrive app helps us avoid too much focus on our phones and lets us reconnect with life

We are incredibly distracted by our smartphones. Fortunately a new app aims to help us to completely disconnect.

Video: Survey finds we are hooked to our phones, but many want to cut down

You only need to watch the streets for a minute or two to realize that most of us are glued to our phone screens.

New Thrive app helps us avoid too much focus on our phones and lets us reconnect with life ZDNet
Eileen Brown

According to a recent study, twenty percent of adults have walked into someone while trying to multitask on their mobile while another twenty percent have tripped over and fallen when using the phone.

Four in ten Americans miss out on life's most precious moments -- such as a child's first steps or graduation -- because they're too busy trying to capture them on their mobile phones. Technology has got in the way. How do we regain control of our online lives?

Fortunately a new app, out today, aims to help us disconnect from our mobile devices.

First introduced in October 2017, Arianna Huffington's Thrive app, from Thrive Global is available today and downloadable from the Android and iOS app stores. It has three modes:

Thrive Mode blocks all apps, notifications, calls and texts for a period of time you specify.

Calls and texts from people on your VIP list will always come through to you.

You can configure an Auto Reply message which lets others know you're taking time away from your phone, and when you will be available again.

There is also an App Control which helps you set time-limited goals for specific apps. it will monitor your usage.

You can even use super thrive mode to block everything until your pre-configures time limit expires.

You can live the least distracting, best life possible.

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It is an attempt to encourage users to take a digital break -- for their health, to switch off from the digital and social intrusions of our lives. Users can step away from stresses and exhaustion and become more productive and effective.

Will it work? I find that putting my phone on mute, enabling DND mode and stopping notifications helps my digital detox.

Uninstalling apps such as Facebook from my mobile device, means I can only access the platform when I log on through a browser on my PC.

Actually leaving the phone switched off when I am out means I can read a book on the commute to work, or spend time with family and friends.

Forcing me to take a break for an hour might help me to chill out -- or I might spend the time worrying about all the things I need to catch up on when I return to my digital universe.