2degrees launches app to encourage mindful phone use

Nearly half of New Zealand adults are looking for a better balance between their online and real lives but don’t know how to achieve it, according to new research commissioned by 2degrees. In response, 2degrees has launched Real Mode, a web-based app rewarding users for putting their phones down.

46 per cent of New Zealanders over 18 say they want better balance and to manage their use of technology, with this rising to nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) for those aged 18-39. Many say their phone or tech device stops them being fully present, with one in 10 Kiwis admitting to having missed important life moments because of digital distractions.

“Mobile phones and digital technology enable us to live our lives and allow us to do our jobs, but we all know how easy it is to get caught up in constant status updates, reels, GIFs and the latest TikTok trends,” said Mark Aue, Chief Executive Officer at 2degrees. “Getting that balance right between online and real life is key – and is clearly something top of mind for many Kiwis, but over half (54 per cent) don’t currently have strategies to manage screen time.”

To help Kiwis take control of their phone use, give their thumbs a rest, and engage more deeply face-to-face, 2degrees has launched Real Mode. The web-based app allows users to prioritise their real-life connections by switching to Real Mode and track the time they spend off their device.

“As part of Fighting for Fair to make New Zealand a better place to live, we want to encourage Kiwis to use technology in a way that supports them to be happy and productive, while also making sure they are taking time to reboot, connect, and enjoy unfiltered moments in person away from the online world,” said Mark.

2degrees wants to help start conversations and connections at family dinner tables, at sports clubs, at concerts, and while Kiwis are making the most of their holidays.

Real Mode enables Kiwis to place an ‘out of office’ feature on their social channels, and for every 15-minutes spent away from their phone, they go into the draw to win experiences that encourage living in the moment such as movie tickets and restaurant vouchers – in addition to receiving the sweet reward of better balance and connection.

With Valentine’s Day top of mind, the timing is particularly useful for Kiwis wanting to improve the quality of their time together. 2degrees’ research showed overuse of mobile phones often creates relationship strife, particularly for young people. Almost a quarter of people aged 18-39 (24 per cent) report having an argument with their partner or family member for being too distracted by their phones. 13 per cent of that same age group had gone as far as to break up with a partner due to their phone or online habits.

Meanwhile, a quarter of 18-39 year olds think it is acceptable to check their phone and messages during a Valentine’s Day date, compared to just 12 per cent of 40-59 year olds and 10 per cent of New Zealanders aged over 60.

The research also shows an interesting generational shift from face-to-face to phone or online conversations. While 80 per cent of respondents over 60 believe conversations like resigning from a job or telling someone difficult news needs to happen in person, less than 60 per cent of all 18-39 year-olds agree.

“Everyone’s lives are different, but we believe everyone could benefit from being a bit more intentional about using their phone. We want to help Kiwis switch their phones off from time to time and switch on to each other,” adds Mark.

To find out more about Real Mode, visit 2degrees.nz/realmode

Posted on