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UWO student creates app to limit social media use

A user visits the Pyxsee app, Jan. 3, 2018. (WLUK/Mike Moon)

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WLUK) -- For parents trying to control their children's social media use, there's a new app for that.

It was developed by a student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, who told FOX 11 News it isn't just beneficial to parents.

When senior Dayne Rusch walks to his classes at UW-Oshkosh, "everyone in the hallway's just sitting there like this (looking at their phones) instead of looking up and talking to your friends, you know?"

Rusch said freshman year he realized students, himself included, were too invested in their social media. So he created an app, called Pyxsee, which launched last spring.

"Integrates your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, all within one, simple swipe," Rusch explained.

You can post to some or all pages at once.

But, more importantly, Rusch said, the app shows you how long you use each social site each day.

"And allows them to set a timer for themselves to limit their daily social media usage," he explained.

The app's new feature: Pyxsee Parental Guidance allows a parent to control their children's social media use from their own phone.

"So now the parents can manage, control and set time limits for how much time their kids can spend each day on social media," Rusch explained.

Don't want your child on social media at school or bedtime? The app gives the parent and children a code to use that connects the phones.

"Now parents have the ability to block their kids' social media for those time periods," Rusch told FOX 11.

Rusch said he's researched the negative effects of social media.

"Kids using social media, there's actually increased signs of depression, increased anxiety," he explained.

Psychologist Frank Cummings agrees, social media can be detrimental for all ages.

"What it does is that it gives us a little bit of a high or a little bit of a rush," he said.

Then a crash can follow.

Cummings told FOX 11 this can hinder childhood development.

"It can be a problem when the relationships suffer as a result. What we have to do is we have to set some limits on that," he explained.

Rusch told us that's what his app does.

"There's more to life than social media," he said, going on to say he hopes to prove it.

Right now Pyxsee is only available through Apple's iTunes App Store. The plan is to expand into the Android market as well.

The app is free for individual use. The parental guidance feature is $2.99 a month per child or $50 a year, unlimited.

So far Rusch told us about 11,000 individuals have the app, while 15 parents have subscribed. The parental feature launched three weeks ago,

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