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The Short Version: While technology has made many lives easier, it also has the potential to prevent people from being productive and connected in real life. With the Opal App, users can maximize their productivity and minimize their screen time. Opal helps couples spend more time off their phones and focused on each other.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most people became more reliant on technology than ever before. Many workplaces (including ours at DatingAdvice) switched to a remote format, in which employees do their work and communicate with each other entirely online. Schools and universities operated through video calls, and individual work was completed at home. Aside from roommates and live-in family and partners, relationships with others, in large part, existed entirely online. Our collective connection to the outside world and society at large became reliant on technology.
Kenneth Schlenker saw this shift happening too, and it worried him. While technology was a vital tool to deal with life in a pandemic and continues to broaden our world, he worried that it was starting to take over users’ lives. Instead of facilitating connection, technology at times prevented it. “I realized most people in the world were constantly tethered to their devices,” Kenneth said. “People spend around four hours daily on their phones, starting at age twelve. To put this into perspective, they will spend seventeen years staring down at a phone.”
Most people don’t want to scroll their lives away. But technology is designed to be addictive, making it hard to stop yourself from wasting your day away watching videos, posts, and ads you don’t care about. It can feel impossible to stop even when tech gets in the way of work, hobbies, and relationships.
Kenneth knew he needed to help users limit their screen time and maximize their productivity and connection with their loved ones. So he created Opal, an innovative productivity app designed to help users focus better and make the most out of every day.
“Opal gives you a set of tools to focus better, including making distracting apps magically disappear from your phone or desktop while you focus,” Kenneth said. “With our Focus Score feature, you can check your focus level throughout the day and measure your progress in real-time.”
Opal helps couples stop wasting their time together scrolling side-by-side, each in their world. Most people feel busy, but with Opal, you’ll be able to take back your lost time and put it into a relationship that matters.
When Kenneth started Opal, he needed help focusing on his relationship. “My wife and I were struggling to find time for each other with our hectic schedules,” he said. “We both work from home and have young kids, so we’re often tethered to our computers or phone. I noticed that we were starting to rely on screens to entertain and connect, and I wanted to find a way to help us unplug and focus on each other.”
There’s no shame in scheduling things that are important to you, even when you enjoy them. Couples with children know how impossible it is to have a date night without planning it days in advance. Many Opal users schedule quality time with their partners and families. This could include getting a babysitter, making a reservation at a nice restaurant, or simply putting the phone away and enjoying an evening talking to your spouse.
“We see many couples set ‘Together Time’ sessions on Opal in the evenings or on weekends,” Kenneth told us. “They often decide to block work and social apps. We also see couples share a session with each other, so apps are blocked on both devices, and it creates mutual accountability.”
Opal users love how the app helps make them more productive at work. Many people who find themselves working long hours or taking their work home struggle with efficiency on the job. It’s understandable — being productive for eight hours a day is nearly impossible, especially when you’re doing skilled labor that requires you to constantly use your brain. Everyone needs a break. But with Opal, you can cut back on the unnecessary stops during your work day and become more intentional with how you relax, reset, and recharge.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is that Opal saves people a lot of time,” Kenneth said. “Our data shows people who use Opal are less distracted (94%), experience better productivity (93%), enjoy increased well-being (90%), and save an average of 2 hours of screen time per day.”
Everyone has days when they feel lazy and spend too much time on their phone. But with Opal, you can cut back on wasting time and create space to do what you want. Maybe you feel like your work is too demanding to allow you to get home for dinner. But if you cut out an hour of screen time a day, you can use that time to eat and spend time with your family. Suddenly, you get back lost time you didn’t realize could be yours.
Even people who spend little time scrolling on their phones realize how distracting technology can be once they start using Opal. With Opal’s Focus Score feature, they can find out how much they interact with their phone daily. “Focus Score uses live data from your phone’s activity to measure your focus automatically, so you have the power to change,” Kenneth said. “It analyzes your pickups, notifications, and time spent on different apps and websites to give you the best picture of your focus. Everything is fully private and for your eyes only.”
Once you know how you’re wasting your time, it becomes far simpler to change undesirable habits and implement good ones. When you can better manage your time, focusing on the people who matter to you becomes a lot easier.
Opal has helped countless users get on top of their professional, personal, and romantic lives. It can help you clear up more time to do the things that you love, or simply help you get out of your head and into the present. Constantly being on social media can be detrimental to your mental health and self-esteem. Using Opal can lead singles and couples to feel happier, more confident, and more focused. It’s one step closer to becoming a better partner, parent, boss, employee, and person.
When Vaidehi Joshi quit her job, she was in the throes of burnout. But Opal helped her limit her screen and social media time to get her mental health back in check. “I have been using @withopal, and it has really made me intentional about how and when I use my phone,” she tweeted. “I’ll set a 23-hour timer and literally keep my phone in one room in the house, so I don’t default to looking at it as a habit (something I did a lot in my first two weeks off).”
Technology use alone is seldom the source of all problems, but it can greatly exacerbate emotional and material issues. If you struggle to communicate with your partner, looking down at your phone while they’re talking will only make the problem worse. Bettering a relationship takes genuine effort. If you want to connect more with your partner, you must spend time together face to face, not screen-to-screen.
“Opal is clearly an app that helps couples reclaim their time together,” Kenneth said. “It allows couples to schedule quality time in advance where distracting apps are blocked, and they commit to being present for one another.”