MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Vanessa Romo reports on software to help social media addicts kick the habit.
VANESSA ROMO: Yes, the Web helps us do our jobs, but it can also distract us from them. What with all the...
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PAUL VASQUEZ: Double rainbow all the way across the sky.
ANTOINE DODSON: (Singing) Hide your kids. Hide your wife. Hide your kids. Hide your wife.
DODSON: (Singing) Hide your husband 'cause they're rapin' everybody out here.
VASQUEZ: Oh my god, it's so intense.
ROMO: It is intense.
KATHY GILL: We get a serotonin hit from this.
ROMO: Kathy Gill teaches about the intersection of digital media technologies and social institutions at the University of Washington.
GILL: So those of us who are susceptible to that high keep getting these little Pavlovian dog responses. It's new, it's shiny - wee.
ROMO: The Nielsen Company, a media research firm, calculated that one in every 4.5 minutes online is spent on blogs and social networking sites. So, Fred Stutzman, a software developer, created an application to combat all of this time wasting. It's called Anti-Social. The idea came to him after he fell into the Wikipedia trap.
FRED STUTZMAN: One page on Wikipedia turns into to two to five to 10, and then you've spent an hour learning about things but not necessarily getting work done. So I think by actually having this very simple barrier to keeping yourself offline, it's very effective in terms of productivity.
ROMO: One person who found the application useful is Pankaj Prasad. He's a business developer in San Francisco.
PANKAJ PRASAD: I believe I saw a tweet on it, which is kind of ironic because I was wasting time when I came across it.
ROMO: Prasad installed Anti-Social on his work computer two weeks ago. Before installing it, he would take...
PRASAD: Ten-minute breaks every 20 to 30 minutes.
ROMO: That means Prasad spent an average of 2.5 hours a day doing anything but work before Anti-Social. He says on a scale of one to 10.
PRASAD: I would give it a six because when I'm in front of my computer I won't flip to, like, Facebook or Twitter. I would give myself an F because I still lean back in my chair and check it on my phone.
ROMO: Are you feeling the double rainbow withdrawals already?
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ROMO: Not to worry, your smartphone is always there if you need that hit of serotonin.
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VASQUEZ: (Singing) Double rainbow all the way across the sky.
ROMO: For NPR News, I'm Vanessa Romo.
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