Deseret News
Letter to the Editor

Devices are on school campuses, worship sites and work places. In 2017, it is no longer possible to abstain from them, but it has become the people’s responsibility to develop the willpower to use them wisely. Everyone must use devices. Developing an addiction is optional. Is self-control a great enough reward to trump an onslaught of texts, tweets, emails, likes and shares?

The app Pocket Points doesn’t think so.

Pocket Points is an app that rewards users for not using their phones. This app is centered on students and uses GPS technology to ensure that students are on campus when the app is active. Every 20 minutes that a user is not using their phone, a point is granted to their account. With so many points, users can buy coupons for food, recreation and clothing. Some prizes include a free box of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, discounted wedding dresses and free rounds of laser tag. The app pits college students’ two favorite things against each other: social media and saving money. For many, the prizes to be won are for businesses that few were aware of prior to using the app. Here begins a cycle of engagement. As students engage more in class, they are rewarded with discounted activities that help them continue to be engaged in their community.

This app should be on every student’s phone, whether they use it daily or not. It can be the sole constant motivator to use a device less in a world that only encourages more usage. A habit to avoid giving in to a digital addiction can be developed just as easily as the compulsion began. Just keep it in your pocket.

Jenny Borden