It’s like an addiction, isn’t it? All this gazing at our mobile phone screens, looking for emails, texts, Facebook posts, anything which we’re scared of missing. Even when we’re somewhere important, like a birthday party, a concert, even a job interview, we’re desperate to pull out the phone and check just one more time, quickly. Honest, it won’t take a second.
Forest is here to help us break the addiction. This free app for Android and iPhone lets you plant a virtual tree every time you want to concentrate, and as long as you don’t open up any other app, the tree grows. If you go to Facebook or Reddit or anywhere else on your device, the tree starts withering away.
Over time you get rewarded for resisting the temptation to screen gaze, by the growth of a forest, hence the name. Every tree represents 30 minutes when you’ve been focused on your life and work, and not wasting time looking at your phone. It’s cute and we suspect very effective for the right kind of people.
There’s also a handy function which lets you whitelist apps which you absolutely have to access now and then, such as emergency alerts etc, so you won’t destroy your forest in those cases. Simple, easy to use, and hopefully one small step in helping us all wean ourselves away from this disease.