Pyxsee app tracks social media usage

The amount of social media usage in today’s society has become an issue for many. This is what a current UW Oshkosh student is doing to fix the issue.

Kurt Ness & Elizabeth Pletzer

UW Oshkosh senior Dayne Rusch saw a problem with the way the younger generations use social media. So in response, he recently created his own app that helps track the amount of time an individual is on social media.

“Pyxsee is social media app that combines all of the users favorite social media: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Youtube, all within one app, that the user can use with a simple swipe,” Rusch said.

Rusch, who is originally from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, said the goal of Pyxsee is to make social media less addictive in our everyday lives.

“The main purpose of that is to create a healthier social media usage for the user, to get kids off their phone,” Rusch said. “We also included a self timer that shows the user how much time they are spending on social media each day, and it allows them to set a self personal timer to limit their social media usage.”

Rusch said Pyxsee also offers parents the option to oversee their child’s social media usage.

“But what we’re really excited about is our parental control, where parents can now control and monitor how much time their kids are using on social media.”

“After purchasing the Pyxsee PG, the parents will receive a code, and when their kid signs in, the parents receive a notification.”

Rusch said the idea came from a class he took his freshman year at UWO.

“I came up with the idea my freshman year here at UW Oshkosh. It was in Professor LaVake’s Intro to Business class,” Rusch said. “He was talking about all these different social media sites that businesses use, and I was familiar with apps like Hootsuite and Buffer that are for enterprises, but there was nothing for the everyday individual social media user.”

Rusch said the problem today is the addiction that kids have with social media use.

“What surprised me was the actual time that kids are spending on social media,” Rusch said. “On average, kids are spending two and a half to three hours per day on social media. In a lifetime, that comes out to be more than six years spent simply on social media.”

Rusch said the addiction can come from chemicals like dopamine that the brain releases while on social media.

“It’s the same chemical that we use when we smoke, when we drink and when we gamble. In other words, it’s highly, highly addictive,” Rusch said. “So if you think about it, we have an entire generation who has free access to an addictive numbing chemical with no restrictions,” Rusch said.

“Kids are getting social media at 8, 9, 10 years old, and they’re just getting lost in their virtual worlds.”

Kurt Ness & Elizabeth Pletzer

Rusch said while the app helps monitor the use of social media, he doesn’t want folks to stop using social media.

“Social media is good when it is used right,” Rusch said. “What we’re promoting is using it less and using it more efficiently. Social media connects us across the world, which is a huge advantage, we just need to think about how much of it we are using.”

UWO marketing major Dave Voet said Pyxsee can make the public more aware of the amount of useless time spent social media.

“I like that the end goal is to get kids off their phone,” Voet said. “Initially the app was to save the user time by being able to navigate through each social media site with one simple swipe. This is still the case, but in addition there is now a parental control option where parents can limit their kid’s time on each site. Social media is addicting and this app will hopefully give users a healthy balance.”

Nathan Litt, a Pyxsee adviser and mentor of Rusch, said the app works because best because of its simplicity.

“The app makes sense. The people that will be using Pyxsee are already social media users to begin with, so they understand social media and they probably don’t like to admit the amount of time they are using on social media,” Litt said.
Litt said even with the competition, Pyxsee being a free app helps distance itself from its competitors.

“There’s a lot of competition out there currently for Pyxsee, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that the app is free,” Litt said.

Litt also said Pyxsee works because of how prevalent this issue is in today’s society.

“If you look at some of the national headlines about how addictive social media is, I think for Dayne it was a perfect storm in terms of the idea being brought to the table at the right time with this problem being brought to a national stage,” Litt said.

Litt said he was impressed with the passion he saw in Rusch.

“I was introduced to Dayne through the Fox Valley Chamber of commerce and met with him just to get to know him and understand more about his help and give any assistance I could,” Pitt said. “I was really impressed when I met [Dayne]. He’s a really impressive, hardworking guy. I thought his idea had merit; and so I’ve stayed in contact with him and helped him make business connections.”

Rusch said he finds his motivation from simply looking at his parent’s lives and looking at what the end goal looks like.

“Seeing how my parents are living today,” Rusch said. “That’s what keeps me motivated. Knowing the long-term goal and not getting discouraged by failure.”

Voet said Rusch’s success comes from a ton of hardwork and dedication from himself and his supporting cast.

“I think Dayne is seeing success this early because he has no off days,” Voet said. “Nobody sees the work that he does behind the scenes. Dayne also has an awesome team behind him that gives him financial support but more importantly good advice on how to grow this thing.”

Litt said for him to be having the success he’s experienced while still taking on the stress from class work is incredible.

“He’s a full-time college student with full-time classes, so to be doing what he’s been doing with Pyxsee is pretty impressive.”

Rusch said being a full-time student has been the biggest challenge for him thus far.

Not being able to dedicate 100 percent of my time to Pyxsee has been the biggest struggle,” Rusch said.

Rusch said social media is always changing, but will never fully leave us.

“I believe social media will always exist,” Rusch said. “I think it’s always evolving and will change from what we see today, but I don’t think it will ever leave us.”

Rusch said for that reason, Pyxsee will always serve a purpose in today’s society.

“It shows a bright future for Pyxsee,” Rusch said. “I think a lot of people will look up from their phone and say ‘I’m losing face-to-face conversations and I’m glued to my phone more than being social.’”

Voet said Rusch is proving that you can apply the knowledge from the classroom into ideas that can apply to the real world with hardwork and dedication.

“Dayne’s success shows other students that if you want to be successful, you need to put in the time,” Voet said. “Being in the college of business at Oshkosh, we have an unlimited amount of resources that we should use to our advantage. Go through the Accelerator Program and start getting funding for your business as well as mentors along the way, if you have the drive, it can be done.”

Rusch said if he were to offer his best advice to students interested in starting their own company, it would be to simply convince yourself to say yes to your idea.

“Do it,” Rusch said. “That’s the hardest step to take. I feel like students are way too scared to fail. You’re going to fail, that’s how startups get better. But if you devote your time to your company and keep working, you’re going to see results.”