SelfControl, for those who have none

By Hailey Siller

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There’s an 100 point essay due tomorrow, but instead of writing it, I’m on Facebook for hours. Typical.

SelfControl is easy to operate, with a slider to set your allotted time on a website. But beware: once you hit "start," there's no turning back. Screenshot courtesy visitsteve.com.

But there’s no longer an excuse to waste time stalking photos. Apple developer Steve Lambert created SelfControl, an application that allows Mac users to block certain addictive websites for self-allotted time periods, in March of 2009.

Although SelfControl is a fairly simple application, the results can be devastating. Users can limit their website access for anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours. Just remember to choose the ‘blacklist block’ option so that the software only blocks the URLs you want it to. Be careful of the ‘whitelist block,’ which only allows users to go on websites they list.

This new generation of “focus” applications, like Think, which prevents desktop distractions, and Pomodoro (25 minutes of work, five minutes of break), have grown increasingly popular within the last year because more people are multi-tasking, focus application expert Jackson Chung said.

Although the application may help hopeless procrastinators, beware: once you start SelfControl, there’s no turning back. Not even shutting down your computer exits the application until the timer runs out.

After using SelfControl the entire semester, I’ve begun to notice that I depend almost as much on this successful application as I used to on Facebook; it really does work.

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