I remember when Steve Jobs first announced the iPhone. It came at the very end of a keynote, introduced with the famous words, “There is One More Thing.” I watched that presentation in awe. I knew that Apple had finally perfected the smartphone, and I knew it would change the world. It has. It has put the entire world in your pocket. I have gotten a new iPhone every two years for over a decade now. I have gotten used to having an app for every need under the sun. I don’t remember how we went to the bathroom before these devices. How did we survive a waiting room?
Though I have come to love my smartphone, I have come to realize that it has had a hand in making me less productive. I am more distracted. I am more superficial. Red notification balloons are constantly calling to be seen. The phone has become like the One Ring. I am always reaching for it. I feel phantom vibrations that are actually nothing. It calls to me often. It is the first thing I look at when I awaken, and the last thing I look at when I lay me down to sleep. I don’t want to be ruled by the One Ring. So, the time has come to make a change.
I have decided to make my smartphone into an even smarter phone. I am taking the world out of my pocket, setting myself free from its always watching eye. I have decided to go from my 138 apps to under 20. I want to get under 10, but that is proving hard with some of the stuff for work and the kids. Here is a list of some of the harder apps it was hard to delete.
All Social Media
I enjoy the quick wit of the twitter mobs. The sharing of life found in Instagram. And keeping of people’s lives on Facebook. Erasing all these is tough. I can still check them at night down at my desk, but getting them out of my pocket is a must. I am a sucker for refreshing a feed, and I can easily lose 30 minutes at a time just catching up on a single platform.
I am in it to win it this year. The app helped me to always be on top of my team. But Screen Time revealed that I was spending 45 minutes and an average of 20 looks per day. That is 20 times my mind disengaged from what it was doing to engage in this part time hobby.
That’s right. I have turned off Safari. Which means I have no internet browser. I can’t google stuff anymore. I can’t look up a news article. I am removed from the information superhighway. This is the scariest of the Smart Phone decisions. The internet was a catch all cheat for me. Even without the Facebook app, I could just type it in my browser and surf that way. It was less elegant, but functional. That backdoor has been locked to me. I am on my own.
What is left
I can make phone calls. I can send and receive texts. Maps is still on, though I am playing with the idea of learning to make my own way through America. I still have Music, cause my phone is my radio. Calendars is live so that I can schedule my life, though I am toying with the idea of going back to a planner. Camera is a go because my babies are beautiful. Those are the main ones. There are a few outliers, like the app to our home alarm system. But that’s pretty much all I can do on my phone.
This is my latest experiment. I will be back in one month to report on what I find.s