Turning my Smartphone to a Dumb phone
I still remember the first day I got an iPhone. It was a sleek black iPhone 3 which was an upgrade from my T-Mobile Sidekick. That first night together was fantastic; I was amazed by the image clarity and internet capabilities. The next day, I became obsessed over apps and downloaded every app I could.
Fast forward to 2016, I have an iPhone 6S Plus. As great of a phone it is, I felt like my life had become consumed with it. My phone had become an extension of my body and followed me wherever I went.
Lord knows I would lose it when I couldn’t find it.
Any time I felt the slightest bit of boredom, I would whip out my phone and entertain myself.
Most of the time, I would think of something, and immediately Google search it. Literally, everything I needed was at my fingertips.
One day, an old friend at work was complaining about her iPhone battery dying all the time. She opened her settings and looked under “battery”. There listed all her most used apps by usage, how much time spent on them, and how much battery usage each application used.
“Aw man, I need to delete Snapchat, it’s taking up 70% of my battery power,” she said annoyingly.
I glanced over and saw that over the past seven days, she spent 6.5 hours on Snapchat.
I decided to check my usage and discovered I spent the majority of the time on Safari, Instagram, and Snapchat. Of course, I was using Safari to check Facebook.
Then I looked at the actual time spent, and it came out to 14 hours in the past seven days!
I calculated how much my hour is worth and came up with $375.
14 hours spent on phone X $375 an hour = $5,250 being wasted on nothing remotely productive or helping me grow
The first step, start slow instead of cold turkey
The first thing I did was remove all notifications: Skype, Slack, Snapchat, Instagram, CNBC, Bloomberg, and text messages. Yes, I said text messages.
At first, this felt weird. No more notifications on my lock screen? What if something important happens? I realized that if it were truly important, someone would call me.
The second step, delete all the apps that don’t add value to your life.
At the end of our life when we lay on our death bed, are you going to say “Gosh I wished I made it to level 130 in Candy Crush.” Probably not!
When you know the value of your time, you’ll stop wasting it.
Now comes social media, I used to devour Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat like no other. The thirst for pointless entertainment was REAL!
Over time, I realized that funny memes and cute photos were essentially pointless. Snapchats of your friend cooking for grandma was pointless too!
The third step, remove or unfollow things that do not add value or isn’t aligned with your goals.
I looked at what I wanted to accomplish in my life and what I was consuming on a daily basis. The reality was that it didn’t match up to what I wanted to accomplish. Slowly I began to remove/unfollow people, pages, snapchat stories that weren’t adding anything to my life.
The photo of the cute puppy isn’t going to make me a better person. That argument on Facebook over the police shootings isn’t going to help me accomplish my goals. The motivational photo with the great quote only inspired me for like 2.3 seconds.
Truly take the time to evaluate what you are consuming on a daily basis.
The old saying is true: garbage in = garbage out.
The fourth step, delete social media off your phone.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I felt like a drug addict who needed their fix.
The first thing I noticed after doing this was how many times, I subconsciously picked up my phone to click on an app that was no longer there.
The second thing was that I had this crazy urge to download the app within hours of deleting them. So many irrational thoughts ran through my mind like:
“Gosh, I want to Snapchat this sick view of dinner tonight.”
“I wonder what (insert friend name) snapchat is doing right now.”
“Let me check out this FB group for recent updates.”
The list could go on forever. At the root of all social media is the need to brag or complain. Next time you are going through your feed, you can label each photo easily.
Brag. Brag. Complain. Brag. Complain. Brag. Doesn’t matter it’s pointless.
The fifth step, I disabled Safari on my phone.
I know what you are thinking. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR F**KING MIND?
Look, there was a time not long ago where people lived without the internet, and they are still alive today.
We’ve become so addicted to consuming mindless things and compare our lives on social media that we’ve lost what it means to have a clear mind.
Being Safari-less has enabled me to have the clearest mind I have had in YEARS! My productivity is through the roof.
Most importantly, the attachment to my phone has faded tremendously.
The other day, my coworkers thought it would be funny to take my phone and hide it. A few hours later, they noticed I wasn’t freaking out and asked if I noticed if anything was missing. Honestly, I didn’t even notice. They were amazed that I wasn’t attached to my phone and didn’t realize it was gone.
We’ve become so addicted to our phone now that it is considered weird not to be addicted.
What does your phone look like now? I keep only a few apps on my phone such as Spotify, MyFitnessPal, bank apps, maps, podcasts, and all other default iPhone apps that can’t be deleted. No Safari, no social media, and a whole lot happier.
If I do want to share something on social media, I’ll download the app for a few minutes and share. Then I’ll delete the app once I am done. If there is a need to use Safari, I’ll enable it and do what I need to do become disabling it again.
Try it for a week and I guarantee you’ll see a difference.