Downgrading tech and improving humanity.
We spend an increasing amount of time online, on social media/entertainment or even checking notifications on our devices to our own detriment, whether it’s doom scrolling or getting stuck in a Wikipedia spiral. There are three simple steps you can take to be less addicted to your phone.
We know that time is valuable. It’s even easier to waste time on your phone for no reason, as many things have shifted to screens due to day to day life this past year. Being online might be the only avenue for connections, work, education, learning, hobbies, no wonder we are spending more time in front of a screen. There are still differences between thoughtful and passive consumption.
If you are tired of being bombarded with political news, feeling chained to your inbox or bouncing between notifications on different apps, here are a few simple steps that I tried and found to be less addicted to my phone. Making the most of your time to pursue what is valuable and beneficial is the purpose of spending time wisely.
There is a story in Greek mythology about a warrior. One of the trials he had to face was a guide on a ship that had to navigate past an island with creatures that lured sailors to their deaths with song. You have to put your phone somewhere you can’t easily reach.
If we know what will distract us and our own weaknesses, we can self-bind in order to remove distraction, such as by placing your phone away from your nightstand or out of sight during work hours. Heeding advice from a goddess, the sailors were told to tie him to the ship and put wax on his ears to allow them to pass through. He was safe because he wasn’t able to move and he was lured by the voices.
Change your environment by not relying on willpower. It doesn’t mean you won’t check your device, just that you start with an environment that reinforces the habits you want to build. This can be extended to other goals such as putting exercise clothes in a visible place to make daily exercise a routine.
Notifications and sounds are triggered to check for updates. They are usually shown as a red dot. It can be difficult to get used to being constantly interrupted from a state of flow after being used everywhere. Notifications and sounds should be turned off.
If you want to reduce noise, turn off all notifications and opt in to the few you actually need. We need to balance what is important with what is urgent. Notifications can obscure this distinction.
I use grayscale to reduce the amount of stimuli I get through color. My phone and any social media app are not as attractive without colors. The third step is Greyscale mode.
This has helped make long periods of screen time on my phone less interesting, because I can’t do this for all my devices. This is how to turn greyscale mode on your phone.
Conclusion. Remove color/delete apps to make your phone less engaging.
Being constantly thinking about how much time you have left is a little depressing. Being intentional about how you live with the time you have makes for a good life.
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