Popular apps helping people with self control

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Technology is just about limitless these days, but if you have a problem limiting yourself to certain things you just can't get enough of, you can call upon that device to help you break the habit.

People are using technology to discipline themselves. There are many different apps and programs now to help people stay in line, and they're being downloaded them and using them a lot.

One man in New York uses a program that turns off his computer for two hours each day because he says he doesn't have the discipline to do it himself. There are also apps that will turn off your car's music if you go 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Technology is becoming our parent, cop, and coach to help us manage our desires.

David Politis, President and CEO of Politis Communications, said, "Back in the day, what you would have done is you would have hired an assistant or a nanny, right, to do things for you, to remind you to go off and pick up your laundry or to get you out of bed at a certain time. Right? Or you'd go and buy a rooster and it would wake you up in the morning. But today that can all be done by technology."

Politis says a lot of parents are even buying breathalyzers and imposing the setup on their teenage drivers. There's a GPS app that prevents you from texting once you're going faster than 10 miles per hour. Another program cuts off credit card spending. Another monitors your workout and gives you real-time voice feedback.

Politis says expect even more "tech" down the road.

"It's all in the imagination. If you can imagine a need, or feel a need, and you know a little about programming, or if you've got a little money and you can pay someone to go off and build an app for you, you can do almost anything," he said.

Experts say it's about using technology to enforce good behavior to help save us from ourselves. They say 2011 will be the year of "outsourcing self-control".

Email: bmartin@ksl.com>.

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