How technology is finally making up for ruining our lives…
Since the advent of technology, I think it is safe to say society has been divided into two camps: the “think of how everything will get better!” camp and the slightly more vocal “machines will take over the world!” camp. Even today, we are warned about excessive screen-time for kids, the light of our cell phone disrupting our sleep patterns, and the devastating consequences of online bullying. Technology has irrevocably changed the way humans think, feel, and interact in society, and it is hard to imagine a return to simpler times, but some apps are here to caulk the ever-widening gap between nature and technology.
Lumosity has been a staple for 10 years now, and even my kids play it. By targeting particular areas of weakness, such as memory or problem solving, Lumosity creates a series of interactive games to help improve those areas. The games themselves only take a few minutes to complete and are cleverly disguised to be fun and engaging. But it isn’t all fun and games (get it?), there is actually a substantial amount of science behind the design and execution of Lumosity. It is free on iOS and Android.
For those who don’t know, someone who has an eidetic memory can remember what they ate for lunch on April 7th 2008. Eidetic memories are crazy good, and this app strives to help us normal folks flex those dusty memory muscles. It uses spaced repetition to help you remember any of your custom-made flashcards, such as important bank account numbers or large cache of text. It is free on iOS and Android.
Happify gives you those extra moments of mindfulness to get you through the day and improve your sleep habits. Through guided meditations, this app teaches you techniques to help manage stress, alleviate negative thoughts, and better manage those annoying moments in everyday life. Users can tailor their experience to help tackle weak areas and improve their overall mental state. Try it free on iOS and Android.
When celebrities use and freely endorse this app, you know it must be good. Headspace has exercises to help with breathing, focus, stress release, and many more. My favorite feature, by far, is their “SOS” button for when the anxiety kicks in and you need some guided meditations to get you back to feeling human again. Get it free for iOS and Android.
I’m still not sure how they do it, but the numbers will tell you, Sleep Cycle works. No extra gadgets or sleeping in your apple watch, simply place your phone near your bed and start the sleep analysis. This app has many features such as a customized alarm clock to wake you up from a light sleep and the ability to track your sleep patterns and analyze the data to optimize your nights. Their Premium (i.e. not free) package offers even more upgrades, like monitoring how the weather affects your sleep and comparing sleep cycles to other users around the world. Try the basic (i.e. free) package on iOS and Android.