For those who are glued to their mobile phones and need a data detox, Forest is an app helping you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work, while rewarding the environment for your presence.
The idea is that users grow a virtual forest by not fiddling with their phones during designated times they set, and thus earn virtual currency to purchase real trees.
Forest provides an interesting solution to beat phone addiction. You can plant a seed in Forest. In the following time, this seed will gradually grow into a tree. However, if users cannot resist the temptation and leave the app to check Facebook or something else on their phone, their tree will wither away.
The productivity app, focused on building healthy behaviours, is a good way to not just beat phone addiction but a novel way to get people to support the environment too. The virtual currency accumulated in the Forest app goes towards purchasing and planting real trees.
Forest have partnered with Maryland nonprofit, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees. The organisation works with farming families in five African countries – Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda – on reforestation and commercial cultivation training.
Forest app developers SeekrTech say: “If you want to temporarily put down your phone and focus on what’s more important in real life, you can plant a seed in Forest. As time goes by, this seed will gradually grow into a tree. However, if you cannot resist the temptation of using your phone and leave the app, your tree will wither. The sense of achievement and responsibility will encourage you to stay away from your phone, and will help you make better use of your time. Stop getting distracted by your phone, make you self-motivated and get more things done.”
Forest first came out in China in 2014. Two years later, ahead of its release in the US and elsewhere, the app maker sought an international partner that could efficiently and sustainably plant many trees, showing users real-life results to inspire and motivate them. To date, Forest app users have contributed to planting 282,078 trees through the programme to date.
Forest app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea