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Hooked on social media? ‘one sec’ forces you to think twice

Do you have a bad social media habit? Maybe your New Year’s resolution is to ditch Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? An app called one sec might be able to help.

one sec

With one sec, users can configure a simple breathing exercise to trigger whenever they try launching a restricted app. It does this using the power of Apple’s Shortcuts app, which is a free download on the App Store. With this breathing exercise in place, one sec hopes users might think twice before falling down the rabbit-hole of their favorite social media app.

Usefully, one sec includes an in-app video that explains how to configure the app’s headline feature. This involves creating a simple Shortcut to trigger one sec whenever a restricted app, like Facebook or Instagram, is launched.

To set one sec up, launch Shortcuts, choose the Automation tab, and select Create a Personal Automation. Scroll down, choose App, and select the app you’d like to restrict – in my case, that’s WhatsApp. To add breathing exercises for additional apps, you’ll need to repeat adding a personal automation for each subsequent app.

Choose one sec in the Shortcuts app.

After tapping Next, choose Add Action and search for one sec. Select Activate one sec (when app opens) and tap the blue text to re-define your prohibited app. Tap Next again.

Finally, make sure you disable Ask Before Running then choose Done to finish off the process.

The next time you try launching your restricted app, one sec will prompt you to take a deep breath and to reflect on your behavior. Do you really want to open WhatsApp, Facebook, or Instagram? If so, go right ahead. But after pausing and reflecting for a moment, you may decide that you should really find a better use for your time. You’d be surprised how much adding just a little friction can help break a habit.

Do you really want to browse Instagram?

There you have it – one sec can be downloaded and used free of charge, and a paid pro version is also available for users hoping to exert even more control over their social media habits.