App Obesity: The Silent Tech Killer

A lot of the recent buzz in the news is in regard to the growing obesity problem in the United States. It seems that we like our food fast and full of fat. But have you looked at your smartphone or tablet lately? Even though it may not weigh more than the last time you checked, it could be stuffed full of apps which could be resulting in real, physical stress every time you glance at your device.

Too Many Options

These days, there really is an app for everything. Not only can we check the weather on our phones, but we can read our daily horoscope, tune our guitars and light our way by turning our phone’s camera flash into a flashlight.

Of course, the examples above are just a few of the millions of apps now available for either free or very little cost. Yet another reason to download as many apps as we can, right? Not necessarily. App overload is becoming a common problem for many device owners, who are seeing sluggish device performance and shorter battery life as a result of too many apps being installed.

How Deep Our Addiction Goes

The global statistics are scary. According to recent numbers from this year’s Mobile App Behavior survey, Spain leads the way with 93% of mobile phone users indicating they are addicted to their apps. The world over, 82% of the population depends heavily on their apps, largely for email and Facebook. In fact, those users believe that they wouldn’t be able to go one day without access to some of the apps on their devices.

Many of those surveyed also said they would find it easier to quit drinking coffee cold turkey than to delete and go without their smartphone apps forever.

The Saturation Factor

There are probably more technology web sites than ever before that we global citizens turn to on a daily basis. This can mean literally hundreds of suggestions for the latest and greatest apps. Add to that how easy it is to get these apps on your phone, and it’s easy to see how much of a slippery slope app ownership can be. But there are ways to help your device to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Going Bankrupt

The first step to solving an app addiction problem is admitting that there is one. Once you do, the liberation can begin. But in order for app bankruptcy to be effective, you have to be all business. All of the apps on your phone will have to be completely uninstalled so that you can start from scratch. And just like you might purge your closets of unwanted clothing, it can be tempting to reconsider some items. The easiest way to kill your app addiction is to begin at the beginning by adding apps you think are important, rather than looking at your current collection and trying to decide if you can bear to be without a certain app.

Don’t Forget the Games

There are probably just as many time-sucking apps on the market as there are truly useful ones. And having them on your device means that they can be accessed whenever you feel the urge to play them. The ultimate result could be lengthy sojourns from your duties at work, and silent theft of family time.

Even games designed to benefit the player in some way, such as Words With friends can easily take up much more time than you realize. So just because they may have a game classification, doesn’t mean they are better for you than the other useless apps that may be lurking on your device.

Limit Your Apps to Two Screens

One effective way to ensure that your phone doesn’t get bogged down with too many apps in future is to limit the number of screens that you allow for them. For example, the apps you use most can be placed on your main screen or menu, and those lesser-used apps can go on page two. Remembering that neither page needs to be completely filled even though there may be room may also help you to limit yourself.

Deleting your apps and starting over is a great way to reduce both the clutter and the load on your device. Plus, it can reduce the distraction and stress of trying to locate that must-have app. But most importantly, it can give you peace of mind.


Guest author Jodi Grant writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to technology.  She helps consumers determine who the available internet providers are in their area, as well as provides a simple methodology for comparing them. She recommends as a resource for education and easy comparison.