Idea 054: Social Media Timer

The smartest move they made in social media was the bottomless feed. Smartest for them, not for us.

You start scrolling with the intent of just peeking at the world. Your friends. And one partial photo at a time, you’re intrigued just enough that you swipe your thumb another inch or two just to see.

Just one more, then I’ll switch over to something important. Like my children.

Isn’t that a storyline with which we are all familiar? I know I’m guilty of it. It’s that stupid bottomless feed. It just keeps going. And an hour later, you look at the clock and realize you’re late for something. Or that your kids are now begging you to play with them.

Well, I have the perfect solution. It’s an app that prevents this from happening. In it, you can set time restraints for your social media browsing habits and the app’s job is to make sure you adhere to them.

Now, granted. I’m sure there are existing apps out there that do something like this. But this one goes much deeper. Here’s how I see it:

You launch the app, which is a window that has all your social media apps within it. One by one, you drag each of your social media icons into the window, which saves your login information, browsing history, etc. just as the app would do if you launched it directly. Next. you bury all your social media icons deep in your phone so they’re difficult to get to and you commit to only accessing your feeds via this new app.

Start by setting your limitations in the settings page. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Whatever you choose. From this moment on, all social media browsing is to be done through this app. And if you engage in a new platform, you simply add it to the app and bury the icon.

From inside this app, you launch the time-wasting platform of your choice, such as Twitter. As your predetermined time allotment approaches, a small countdown clock (also in the settings) appears, alerting you that your time is expiring. Maybe it’s the last 30 seconds. That gives you the mental warning you need to get your last few swipes in before everything goes away and you’re forced back into reality.

The app can allow time constraints for different periods of the day. And if you’re truly brave, you can set it to not allow a “snooze” button for a certain period of time. Let’s say you set the timer for ten minutes. You’re scrolling Facebook and BAM, it dies right as you’re about to watch an amazingly awesome, life-altering video. You just know this is the one that will make the difference in your future. But, easy enough, you just find the Facebook app on your phone, launch it and presto, you’re back in business.

Another feature is the app’s ability to set goals and establish a routine. Maybe you’re addicted to social media and you need to back it off before you lose your job. No problem. Set your goals week by week and the app will back it off for you until you’re down to just a few minutes a day. You could even select an accountability partner to hold your feet to the fire.

So, it does much more than just time your social media. It’s a tool to keep you in check and improve your life by making better use of your time. Where else could this app go? I definitely see a need for it in the market place. Any thoughts? Please chime in your ideas in the comment box below.

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