Silicon Valley has made billions off phone addicts. Studies say owners unlock their phones upwards of 150 times every day, which is rewiring our brains and fueling mobile ad sales.

There are a few easy ways to curb the temptation of sweet social media bliss, like disabling notifications or deleting apps. But one San Francisco company thinks it has a better way to break you of your slavish addiction to your phone: an app.

TechCrunch brings us word of Checky, an app that tracks how often you unlock your iPhone and encourages you to share your stats on Twitter and Facebook. Developed by Calm, a startup with nearly $1 million in funding to build an app by the same name that helps "individuals relax their minds," their spin-off Checky app brands itself as an awareness tool, suggesting people might cut back their screen time if they knew how much they used their devices. And Calm's founder is a recovering addict himself:

"Like many folks, I am pretty much addicted to my phone," says Calm founder Alex Tew. "And now I know exactly how much: most days I check my phone over 100 times. In fact, yesterday I checked my phone 124 times. Today I'm at 76, so far. Having this new awareness makes it easier to control my phone usage," he says. "My new goal is to check less than 100 times a day."

Is a San Francisco tech startup actually biting the hand that feeds it, putting people ahead of industry growth? Are venture capitalists really funding a company that encourages people to put down their phones? Not quite:

Effectively, the app serves as an advertisement for Calm's flagship application by introducing the concept of technology addiction and behavioral change. The app is also a literal ad for Calm, too, as it serves up an ad at the bottom of the screen pointing to the meditation app.


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Screenshots: Checky