We all love technology. We love our phones, our screens, our devices and what they allow us to do. We value the convenience and connection they've brought to modern life. But having the world at our fingertips, and in our pockets, has accelerated the pace of our lives unlike ever before. And it's brought a whole new universe of temptations, notifications and alerts that often make it seem like we're living in service of our devices rather than leveraging tools to make our lives better. The average U.S. smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day, according to the research firm Dscout. And the constant incoming is getting to us — it's affecting our stress levels and our relationships. The American Psychological Association's Stress in America survey showed that 86% of Americans check email, texts and social media “constantly” or “often.” And the people who reported the highest stress levels were those who checked their phones even on their days off. A survey of 1,000 U.S. parents conducted by Wakefield Research for Comcast, shows that 42% of parents don’t remember the last time their family had a device-free meal.
So what if there were a technology to help us out? Technology to help us have a better relationship with technology. Technology to help us be as productive and present as possible – at work, for our families, and for ourselves. Technology designed to enhance our humanity rather than making it all too easy to run away from ourselves.
There is now. And that’s why I'm thrilled to announce that Thrive Global has partnered with Samsung to bring you The Thrive App, to help people take control of their lives and their technology -- instead of being controlled by it. The Thrive App is part of a movement to help people take a break from technology to reconnect in deeper ways with themselves, their family and friends, and the world around them.
The Thrive App helps you recalibrate your relationship with technology by giving you the tools to take a break from your phone to do whatever it is that makes you more human. When you put your phone into “Thrive Mode” it limits all notifications, calls and texts except for those from people you’ve specified on your VIP List.
And it’s also bi-directional. So if you’re in Thrive Mode for the next hour, and I text you, I’ll get a text back that you’re in Thrive Mode until 11 a.m., which creates a new kind of FOMO, because it makes me wonder, “What’s she doing while she’s disconnecting? What am I missing out on?" I’ll definitely be intrigued and want to try it for myself. And that’s why we want The Thrive App to be more than just a product. We want it to have a multiplier effect that begins to create new cultural norms about what we value – to go from valuing always being on to also valuing unplugging and recharging regularly.
And our App Control dashboard provides you with a mirror of your app usage – so you can know how much time you spent on Instagram last week – and makes it easy to set goals and limits for specific apps.
If you’re a parent, The Thrive App will allow you to spend time with your child and be fully present. If you’re at an event, The Thrive App will allow you to not only capture the moment but to truly experience it. And if you just want to get some focused work done, The Thrive App empowers you to create the time and space you need to be at your most productive and creative -- minus all the notifications and alerts that usually interrupt us.
We believe this is the perfect time for The Thrive App. The global conversation about our relationship with technology is inescapable. New role models like Ashton Kutcher, Selena Gomez and Rashida Jones are taking steps to take control of the technology in their lives. And people all over the world are hungry to have a relationship with technology that enhances and augments their lives.
This is a perfect moment for all of us to create human-centered technology that's not just about what people want to do, but who they want to be.
We need to be in control of the technology in our lives, not controlled by it. By helping you set boundaries and create and preserve sacred space in your life, The Thrive App will allow you to connect more deeply with your work, with others in your life and with yourself.
The Thrive App will be available in the Samsung Galaxy App store on December 15. Samsung users interested in participating in the preview beta can sign up here.