one sec icon

one sec

Distracting apps made less appealing – scientifically
Links & Contact

one sec – story, features and facts


About one sec’s creator – Frederik Riedel

The developer behind one sec is Berlin-based Frederik who developed his first app at the age of 15. Five years later, he founded his own company called GmbH. Each of Frederik’s app ideas is rooted in his own needs. He builds tools for himself – and afterward publishes them so they can also benefit others. His goal is to create an added value to society; in the case of one sec: help people to free themselves from addictive algorithms and spend their time in a more meaningful way.

Some facts about Frederik:

  • Born in 1995 in Stuttgart.
  • Based in Barcelona.
  • Studied Software Engineering at University of Stuttgart.
  • Received 5 Apple scholarships for the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in Silicon Valley.
  • Internship at Apple in Cupertino in 2017.
  • Took part in Apple Entrepreneur Camp 2019.
  • Both his apps Redpoint and one sec were selected by Apple as “App of the Day”.

How did the idea for one sec come about?

Born in 1995, Frederik has experienced the rise of smartphones and social media from the very beginning. Growing up as a member of the early Generation Z, the internet and apps have been inherent parts of his life for many years. But during the pandemic, it went out of control. When learning about a technique to reduce social media use “by taking a deep breath before opening the app”, he had an idea. “It made sense, but didn't work for me: I wanted to stop using apps unconsciously, and you don't think about breathing when doing that.”

Existing apps only offered a temporary solution. Frederik has tried them all, but they were just not sufficient. As a consequence, Frederik decided to create his own app. He used his coding skills to program an automation which simply “forces” people to take that deep breath. The result: You really have a chance to consciously decide against (or for) using a time-consuming app.

How does one sec work?

Our social media habits are the outcome of psychological mechanisms that apps trigger in our brains. They use the system of instant gratification, which releases dopamine whenever we perceive a like or a message on our phone.

one sec’s approach is to break those habits. It makes it mandatory for users to complete an exercise before they’re able to use a configured app. By making them wait longer for social media to open, their brains lose interest in quick dopamine hits over time.

Contrary to other apps with similar objectives, one sec is not a temporary solution – one sec is an always-on companion to cancel out dopamine traps of social media. It’s the best app to sustain a healthy relationship with social media and other distracting apps.

An overview of one sec’s features:

Free Version:

  • Allows configuration for one app or website
  • Automated second thought: When opening a configured app, one sec counts down from 10 and asks users to take a deep breath. Afterward, they are asked: Do you really want to open this app?
  • Journaling: one sec requires to write a determined number of words first time in the morning or in the evening when an app is opened.

Pro Version:

  • Allows configuration for multiple apps or websites
  • Alternatives to the breathing exercise: “Follow the Dot”, “Rotate your Phone”, “Black Screen”, “Mirror”, “Learn Vocabulary” (with LENGO)
  • Intention tracking and reminders: Users can analyze their intended actions and get reminded about them by a push notification while they’re still using the app.
  • Block sessions: Users are unable to open configured apps during a particular timespan.
  • Good Morning Countdown: Users are unable to open configured apps for 15 minutes until one hour right after waking up (data are drawn from HealthKit)
  • Visualized monitoring: one sec shows app usage, progress and time saved
  • Healthy alternatives: Users can record alternatives to app or website usage, such as doing sports, pursue a hobby, reading or meditate. These are suggested by one sec every time a configured app is opened.
  • Scheduled Blocking: Block apps completely at certain hours or days (or allow usage without intervention).
  • iOS Focus Filters: Block apps depending on the iOS Focus mode
  • Re-Intervention: "Doom Scroll Emergency Break"
  • Dynamic Island Timer: shows timer in dynamic island while using social media apps
  • Adult Content Detox

What do people use one sec for?

People use one sec mainly to block …

  • Social media
  • Gaming
  • Stock and crypto portfolio apps
  • Dating apps such as Tinder or Grindr
  • News apps und websites
  • Shopping (avoiding impulse purchases)
  • Video streaming (YouTube, Netflix)
  • Adult Content

How does one sec generate revenue?

one sec can be used for free to configure one app. This way, users can convince themselves of one sec’s effect before spending any money. If they want to use one sec for more than one app, they can go for the pro version:

  • Regular rate: $19.99 / year
  • Student rate: $9.99 / year
  • One-time purchase: $39.99

No user data is sold whatsoever. Besides, one sec doesn’t have any investors. GmbH has been able to self-finance from the start.

Science-based approach – effects confirmed by Max Planck Institute

We have conducted a study in cooperation with researchers from German Max Planck Institute to measure one sec’s effects on app habits. The result: one sec reduces app usage by 57 % on average. The associated research paper has been peer-reviewed and published, it can be accessed here:

User feedback

one sec has received over 55.000 ratings internationally, over 90 % are 5-star-ratings (as of February 2024). The average rating is 4.9 stars.

Availability – where to get one sec

Interesting facts

  • On average, people spend 17 hours per week on social media. (Source: Statista)
  • 54% of young adults in the U.S. meet the criteria for problematic internet use. (Source: Moreno M, Riddle K, Jenkins MC, Singh AP, Zhao Q, Eickhoff J. Measuring Problematic Internet Use, Internet Gaming Disorder, and Social Media Addiction in Young Adults: Cross-sectional Survey Study. JMIR Public Health Surveill 2022;8(1):e27719, doi: 10.2196/27719)
  • Heavy social media use is associated with depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents. (Source: Betul Keles, Niall McCrae & Annmarie Grealish (2020) A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents, International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25:1, 79-93, doi: 10.1080/02673843.2019.1590851)
  • Cutting down on Facebook use has significant positive effects on subjective well-being and healthy lifestyle. (Source: Julia Brailovskaia, Fabienne Ströse, Holger Schillack, Jürgen Margraf. Less Facebook use – More well-being and a healthier lifestyle? An experimental intervention study. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 108, 2020, 106332, ISS 0747-5632, doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2020.106332)

one sec in the media

  • Business Insider: “I tried a new app that promised to cure my addiction to social media, and it actually worked”
  • TIME Magazine: “This App Could Fix Your Social Media Addiction”
  • FastCompany: “How UX designers can use brain science to influence user experience”
  • The Verge: “How to reinvent your phone without buying a new one”
  • Apple: “App of the Day”
  • Morning Brew: “Time-saving tools and products we’re really into rn.”
  • The New York Times: “Everything You Need to Break Up With Your Phone”


  • Ali Abdaal: “This free app saves me 21 hours every month.”

Continue to images or videos

Contact email