APPraisals: SelfControl

Rebecca Holmes, Associate Writer

Picture courtesy of

Picture courtesy of

During this century, it seems that there is an app for everything. Apps can range from health and wellness, gaming to social media. College? There's an app for that too. In this weeks installment of 'Appraisals,' a free distraction preventative app is on display: SelfControl.

For most college students, procrastination is their middle name. It has become a staple of the college experience for students to complete their assignments at the last minute.  

Most of the things students are assigned in college have to be completed through a digital medium such as a laptop. Each time students log into their laptops they have to make the decision to be productive and complete their assignment or become distracted by advertisements and notifications. 

For most students, the decision between completing an assignment or binge watching Netflix, scrolling through social media or playing Candy Crush is very difficult. 

SelfControl takes all the difficulty out of that decision. SelfControl is an app that restricts student's access to distracting websites for a designated amount of time that is decided by the user.  

This means students can study, write a paper, or do research work without any temptations from outside websites. 

Once students install SelfControl, they will create a “whitelist” or a “blacklist”.  

If they choose whitelists, they can only view the websites that are on that list. If they choose a blacklist, they can only view websites that are not on that list.  

Students can use this to block social media, gaming sites and streaming sites.  Once students make a list, they choose an amount of time and click start.  

Once the app has started blocking outside websites, there is no way around the block until the timer runs out. It will block the designated websites in all browsers, even if students restart their computer.  

SelfControl forces student to be focused, intentional and productive in completing their assignments, even when students get distracted. 

SelfControl can be used by both Apple and Android users.