I have a weird habit.
Guidelines on hiding your phone from yourself. (Day#7)
I have a weird habit.
This one, I haven’t seen anyone else repeat, yet.
I hide my phone from myself.
Push notifications used to be the lay of my land, but in time I realized that, for me, these were generally distracting, interruptive to what I was doing at that moment, and often added little to my life. Whatever the other person on the other side of the phone was contacting me about, the associated notification and occasionally associated ring or buzz could wait until a further-into-the-future moment ~99.5% of the time.
Full disclosure: I have push notifications on my phone currently for Facebook Messenger and receiving text messages, but other then that I do not use these “pushed based” mechanisms, instead opting to use a “pull based” model for obtaining information.
Along with largely not using push notifications, I choose also to put my phone on silent and also not use a ringtone of any sort. This helps eliminate the chance that you’ll experience phantom vibrations, a phenomenon I have experienced previously in my life . Over the last 3 years I have noticed a lot of other people who have started to also incorporate using a silent phone into their lives.
I, additionally, take this to an even further extreme. Around the house, I hide my phone from myself.
I don’t even like having my phone in my pocket or in my peripheral vision, because it just feels like even having my phone on me or in sight is distracting and a temptation to remove myself from the actual present and my actual thoughts. Remember, iPhones and apps are designed by marketers and coders who want-to-keep-your attention. [As the saying goes, “code or be coded”].
To remedy this, I hide my phone either in the couch I’m sitting on or on the floor. If I’m at a desk, I hide my phone behind the computer I’m using.
Below are some additional guidelines on how to hide your phone from yourself:
1. Put your phone on the floor, it won’t get ‘eaten by the couch’ that way.
2. Check your phone only at intermediate moments in conversation and only when you need/want to.
3. Warn the other people who are significant to you in your life if you cannot receive notification of a text or email immediately.
4. Be careful about hiding your phone from yourself in public, especially in a taxi.
5. If you use the pomodoro technique, checking your phone between pomodoros (once every 25 minutes) is a decent strategy.
6. Be aware of how distracting your phone usually is once you hide it from yourself.
My friends will likely read this and be tempted to call me out for how often I am on my phone around them at times. Sometimes, this definitely is the case, and I am not perfect with this.
What I have noticed from this weird habit, however, is that in general the level of genuine conversations I have had with my friends has increased, I have become a better listener, I feel less likely to interrupt someone else when they’re speaking, and I feel less connected to my phone. Literally.
Without your phone touching your leg, a whole new world of possibility opens up. It is my hope that these aforementioned guidelines will help anyone else thinking about implementing these changes and this seemingly-weird habit into their lives.