Addressing Addiction

Holdling phone

A few weeks ago I real­ized how addict­ed I’ve (re)become to my phone. I fought this bat­tle a few years ago and improved a lot. But I went back to my old ways, with some slight vari­a­tions. The main prob­lem was the same though: I spent way too much time on my phone.

My ini­tial plan was to down­grade from a smart phone” to a dumb phone.” But as I start­ed to think about the ways I use my iPhone, I real­ized that wasn’t an ide­al sce­nario. I do some pret­ty help­ful and pro­duc­tive things with it. Things like:

  • lis­ten to audio books
  • lis­ten to podcasts
  • use Google Maps / Waze for traf­fic reports dur­ing my dai­ly work commute
  • lis­ten to music
  • record reminders through­out the day
  • on-the-go Bible access
  • cap­tur­ing pho­tos and videos
  • a few oth­er help­ful things

So down­grad­ing to a dumb phone” didn’t seem like a good idea. That’s when I real­ized that my addic­tion wasn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly to my phone. It was to spe­cif­ic apps.

I decid­ed it was time for me to remove a few key apps from my phone. It start­ed with Face­book and Twit­ter. Then went to my work Email account and Slack.

These changes alone have been huge for me. Real­ly huge. And I’m stoked about this change. That’s why I’ve decid­ed that rather than down­grad­ing to a dumb phone,” I’ve upgrad­ed to a wise phone.”

Do Not Disturb

One oth­er change I made, before I real­ized how addict­ed I’d become to cer­tain apps, was to start using the phone’s Do Not Dis­turb” mode pret­ty reg­u­lar­ly. If you haven’t used it before, you basi­cal­ly swipe up on your iPhone (no clue how this works on oth­er phones) and tap the moon icon which tog­gles the mode.

This. Mode. Rocks.

No text mes­sages pop up. No oth­er app noti­fi­ca­tions (though I’ve already dis­abled almost all noti­fi­ca­tions on my phone). But alarms still go off. Timers still go off. And phone calls from peo­ple on your VIP list still come through. (You can cus­tomize how this mode real­ly works in the Set­tings of the phone.)

But this got me think­ing a lit­tle. If the mode is Do Not Dis­turb” and that’s the mode I want my phone in most often, does that mean the default mode of the phone is Dis­turb Me”?

Think­ing about own­ing a device where the default mode is Dis­turb Me” makes me rethink how I use it. I mean — I real­ly don’t want to be disturbed…almost ever.

So I made some changes to my phone and my use of it. I fig­ured I’d sum­ma­rize them and chal­lenge you to con­sid­er review­ing your phone set­up and use.

My cur­rent phone setup:

  • I updat­ed my dock to only have 2 apps
  • My first page of apps only has 4 apps on it that I want most of my phone use to be cen­tered around
  • I unin­stalled Face­book, Twit­ter, and Slack
  • I removed my work email account
  • I turned off noti­fi­ca­tions for the major­i­ty of my apps
  • I lib­er­al­ly use Do Not Dis­turb mode through­out the day, every day

You prob­a­bly aren’t addict­ed like I was. (Or are you?) But this might help regardless.

Hit me up if you have relat­ed thoughts you’d like to share. Or if this helps in some way. I’d love to hear from you.

Published on January 3, 2017

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