The Meetings Show
Emirates Old Trafford
Smart Group - Electric Xmas

App of the Week: Off the Grid

Have you ever grown tired of the constant buzzing, dinging and ringing your devices make but you still can’t help but answer the call? Our featured app this week is helping users go Off the Grid.

Social media dependence is becoming a growing concern in this always-on digital age, where even your fridge can be connected to WiFi, and taking a break can be harder than it sounds. Even listening to music can be connected through your tv and controlled through your phone, and the temptation to commit your evening to the black reflective mobile monolith in your pocket is easier to succumb to with every passing day. This is where Off the Grid comes in.

Built by two people in California, this fresh new app is a pretty handy for totally bricking your phone and forcing you to spend more time in the real world and reclaim your evenings. The ‘digital detox’ program lets you set how long you want your phone to be inactive for, then when the time comes your device locks and can’t be unlocked again until the timer reaches zero.

My main concern with the app was what would happen in an emergency. In our perpetually-connected world, I don’t think I’d be able to relax knowing that in an emergency I would have no way of being reached. Being able to ‘whitelist’ certain contacts is reassuring, as it lets your trusty few get through while taking the rest straight to your voicemail.

At any point that you start to feel the need to get onto your device again, you always have the option, but the app won’t let you deactivate it without a fight. If you want to access your phone again during the shutdown period, you’re going to have to pay 90p, a simple but effective way to keep most users off the grid a little longer.

Naturally, shutting you out of your device isn’t a very useful tool for PAs in the office, but in a role that rarely feels like it has set hours, it can help to set yourself some you-time and wind down, talk with friends, read a book or even just go for a walk without feeling beholden to your responsibilities 24 hours a day.

The verdict
This app does exactly what it should; it’s simple to use and easy to understand. Disconnecting to the world might not be what everyone wants, but it’s what plenty need, especially in the PA world. Reduce the temptation to access your emails and answer calls all day and spend a few minutes a day off the grid.

What do you think of the app? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and visit their website for more information