The Science of Onward

The Problem

New technologies help connect and make life easier, but it's also increasingly designed to be adictive:

Nearly ½ of the United States say they couldn’t live without their phones.
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70% of women and 61% of men are afraid of being separated from their smartphone.
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Human attention span has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds...less than a goldfish!
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Humans collectively spend 39,757 years on Facebook per day.
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Netflix users stream more than 125 million hours of content per day.
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For some people it’s endlessly checking social media and texts, while others are more compelled to engage with porn, sex, gambling, games, shopping, food or a combination of the above, with a national average of 11 hours per day spent on screen time.

The Science

Onward leverages the latest behavior change research and data science to help people who have problems with screen time, gambling, or porn regain control of their lives and achieve tech-life balance. The techniques used are at the cross section of well-studied cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices.

As a digital therapeutic, the treatment relies on behavioral and lifestyle changes spurred by a collection of digital impetuses. The data collected and analyzed using the Onward app delivers both progress reports and interventions, employing strategies rooted in the science of behavior change.

By analyzing and interpreting online behavior, including habits, trends, and changes over time, Onward continuously gains new insights into the symptoms and consequences of technology addiction

To facilitate greater knowledge and collaboration around addiction recovery and the burgeoning digital therapeutics industry, we partnered with UCLA Health and Columbia University Medical Center to conduct and publish research studies, highlighting common patterns and evaluating the success of artificial intelligence on use reduction.

Analyzing Onward's Data

  • The top 17% of people average 3:27 of social media per day
  • That’s more than 3 hours a day watching TV
  • 33% of users are on their phones so much they sleep only 6 hours
  • 8% of people are on social media between 2 and 4am
  • 71% of Onward users use their phones when the should be sleeping
  • Top 37% of users sleep their phone less than 5.5 hours per night
  • 31 minutes of social media occurs Monday-Friday from 9-5p
  • Around 100 hours of “lost” productivity a year
  • Costing an employer an average of $2,600 a year
  • The average Onward user checks social media 24 times a day
  • The top 17% of Onward users checks social media 42 times a day
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes in London and Sydney
  • 1 hour and 45 minutes in New York and Los Angeles
  • 1 hour and 10 minutes in Toronto and Montreal
  • Spends 94 minutes on social media each day
  • Spends 80 minutes eating each day
  • Spends 18 minutes reading each day
  • Spends 17 minutes exercising each day

Onward Studies

Onward for Porn: User Study

Presented at Brain Health Symposium
San Fransisco, Q1 2017

Onward Method Inc. conducted a study of 1366 self-identified porn overusers, and presented our findings at the Brain Health Symposium in San Francisco. Eventually we hope to make anonymized data sets available for research and to collaborate on further studies of overuse behavior.

Learn More

Onward for Screen Time: User Study

To be Presented at Digital Pharma East,
Philadelphia, Q4 2017

Learn More

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