Curb your phone & tablet Addiction with App Gatekeeper

Addiction is like an excessive attachment to something that will usually provide one with a temporary pleasant feeling, or to reduce one's anxiety.

The danger to addiction is it leads to an imbalance in one's life. This will impact your health, be it mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and/or socially.

In the case of addiction to phone/tablet (mobile addiction), it maybe that one spent too much time playing games, or one spent too much money in games or gambling, or one has a compulsive habit of checking socia media notifications from Facebook, Twitter.

Generally, when one has a balance lifestyle, one is less inclined to any form of addiction. A balance lifestyle serves as a general protection against addiction. Thus, one should maintain a healthy diet, one should exercise regularly to keep fit and have sufficient rest, one should have friends for support and to care for so as to overcome trials and struggles in our lives.

App Gatekeeper is an Android app I have developed, with the main purpose of freeing up one's time for more important tasks, and prevents user addiction to such electronic devices.

Gatekeeper provides 2 ways of protecting your interest / health:

  1. it can setup maximum usage limits for apps and categories of apps.
  2. it can setup specific times when you can access the apps (categories of apps).

The usage limits prevents you from spending too much time on your phone. If you spent too much time on games, a general solution is to set a lesser usage limit on the time you can spend on games. The steps to achieve this are: 1. assign all the game apps to the Games category 2. set a limit of 1hr/day (for example) to the Games category (this will limit you to a total of 1hr per day spent in games)

It maybe impossible for you to suddenly spend much lesser time on games. Say for example, if you had previously spent on average 5 hrs per day on games, you will probably find it hard to only have an hour on games. The general approach is to gradually reduce your time spent on games.

If you reflect on this, you should be happy that now you have 4 more free hours to spend. But, on a practical note, you may not have an idea where to spend the 4 hours. Depending on your circumstance, this can be a harder task for you. To cure any addiction, you will need a better and healthier replacement. If you have troubles in your life, you will need to solve those first. Ultimately, a more balanced and contented life leads you to spend your time more wisely.

If you are always checking your phone now and then, including using it in the bathroom, while driving, or at the dinner table, the general recommendation is to turn off social media and email notifications, so that you can check them on your own terms instead of as soon as you get a new ping.

If you use your phone late at night or in bed, your body will not register that you are tired. This prevents you from having a good or sufficient sleep. The general recommendation is to turn it off or do not use it anymore an hour from your sleep.

Gatekeeper allows you to setup specific times where you can access the apps or you are restricted from using the apps. For example, you can setup restriction to Games category (for all games), to only allow access from 8pm to 9pm on weekdays. Similarly, you can setup restriction to Social category (for all social apps) so as to use them less often.

Setting such restrictions allows you fo focus better on your current task as well.

The premium (upgrade) version of Gatekeeper has 2 locking mechanisms to prevent you from changing the restrictions and limits that either you have setup yourself or its being setup by someone else. Typical use is for parents, friends or counsellors to setup a lock password in Gatekeeper, and to lock those restrictions and usage limits, so that you cannot modify them. The other mechanism "Auto Lock" is for self-monitoring, when restrictions and limits are auto-locked, they cannot be modified for a certain number of days.

For more details, please refer to App Gatekeeper Help Guide.

May you gain full control over your negative addictions and fully subdued them! - from A Buddhist Approach to Subduing & Overcoming Addictions


When the mind is overcome,
and hankering after addictions,
reflect wisely
remember the dangers inherent in engaging in them,
and the advantages of avoiding them.

Give yourself a safe substitute,
something that will placate the
overcome mind,
so that no harm comes,
to others or yourself.

Failing all this,
go to the place of the addiction,
be it the pub/bar for alcohol,
the casino for gambling,
the restaurant for food addiction,
but stay safely outside without going in.

Then reflect and understand,
that it isn't as important as initially thought,
turn around,
and return safely home.

Train yourself gradually thus,
at a gross physical level,
also training the subtle mind,
where these addictions take root in
when pleasant feelings for sensual pleasures arise.

In time mastering the control of addictions,
both at the gross physical level,
and at the subtle mental level,
you'll be well on your way,
to higher spiritual fruits


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