Jason Chee

How to detach yourself from the smartphone


The smartphone is a problem. Have you ever observed someone playing with their phone in a public setting? I've witnessed plenty of folks turn on their phone, just to turn it off, place it back into the pocket, only to take it out once again all in a matter of seconds. Rinse repeat, rinse repeat. Now imagine doing this 50 or so times a day. Unfortunately, bad habits like the one just mentioned is a result of phone addiction.

By all means, I'm not the best advocate for this subject matter. I'm the type of human that can get by without my phone for hours on end. But maybe some of the mentions below might be of help to those who might need it.

Wear a lo-fi watch

You may be the kind of person that wakes their phone just to check the time. By turning it on, you might have the urgency to check up on any new updates. Wear a regular watch to prevent yourself from this dumb habit.

At work tips

While at work, place the smartphone in a spot that's out of reach. Even better if its out of sight. When it comes to being contacted, tell that person who might need to reach you that you're busy at the moment and working on an important thing that will take time. Put your phone on silent.

When commuting

Don't leave your pocket in your phone. Zip it in your backpack, or place it in a hard to reach area in your purse. If it takes time to take it out, you probably won't.

Invest in a pair of bluetooth headphones with audio controls. Audio controls allow you to play/rewind/skip your audio without having to touch your phone.

When out in public, make it a rule to not play with your phone while you are out walking on the street, waiting in line, or in an elevator.

Deleting applications

This one is obvious, the more boring your phone is, the least amount of time you'll spend on it. Remove any distracting applications. This might include, social media, news, games, etc. Maybe it's best to not do this all at once, but you know, one day at a time. If you're in China, remove the VPN client.

I am not suggesting to get rid of social media, but you can still browse those kinds of things on the phone browser. So really, you only need one app.

Removing contacts, chat conversations, and yourself from group chats

Hold onto the contacts you really want to hold onto. Think about how the KonMari method works. Does this person spark joy into your life? It took me 4 months to go from 700+ contacts to 293. I'm working to get it down to 100. Take your time with this one, but do know, that there will be new contacts coming your way in the near future. Delete old chat conversations. Lastly, remove yourself from group chats that you don't need to be in.

Stuff you probably already know

Turn off notifications, stop applications from running in the background, de-clutter your smartphone homepage from applications, and DO NOT sync your email with you smartphone.

Do not text and walk!

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