New App Tries to Stop Young People Looking At Their Phones

By Kim Snaith on at

Mobile phones are a big part of our lives. No matter how much old folks might shout at the younger generation to "get that blasted device out of your hands!", there's no escaping it.

Well, it seems like a group of fed up old people have got together to design an app to try and deter young people — university students, specifically — from looking at their phone. Yeah, a phone app that doesn't want you to look at your phone. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but it might just be crazy enough to actually work.

It's called Hold, and it's designed to incentivise students to not look at their cellular device by rewarding them with points for every 20 minutes they don't glance at the screen. The app can detect any interaction with your phone, so once you've pressed a button to look at the time or glance at a missed call from your mum, you'll stop accumulating points - until you don't look at it for another 20 minutes.

The points can be exchanged for discounts and vouchers in a number of select retailers, which at launch include Vue cinemas, Caffe Nero, and Amazon.

Every 20 minutes you avoid the lure of your phone screen will grant you 10 points. Points can only be accumulated between the hours of 7am and 11pm too, so if you're a night owl you can look at your phone to your heart's content without feeling penalised. It looks like 150 points will bag you a free regular popcorn at Vue - so that's five hours of not looking at your phone.

Don't get too excited though - much like Facebook in 2006,  you need a registered university email address to register. So unless you're a student, nobody's going to reward you for not looking at your phone. Sorry.

While it's about time that mobile phones were accepted as an extension of ourselves by now — yes, we're all antisocial slaves to the machine, so what? — students love free stuff and discounts, so Hold might well be ridiculous enough to actually work. Or at least enough to make a bunch of students download it in the hopes of getting free stuff, only to find out that 20 minutes without glancing at their phone is actually far too much to ask.

Hold is free to download on Apple and Android devices. For more information, visit the website.