It was one month ago that I turned my smartphone into a smarter phone. I erased 75% of all the apps off my phone. Included in this purge was the internet, all email, all games, and all social media. So, here are my findings after 30 days of simplicity.
Having no internet is hard to get used to. Google has become for many of us an Encyclopedia of sorts. Can’t remember who was president after Ford, Google it. Can’t remember state requirements for deck spans, just fire up the internets. The answer is there somewhere. Fro thirty days I have been cut off from this wellspring of information. Shoot, I will be working on a sermon and forget where a passage is. In the past, I would just type in the words and find the address. Lately, I have to think through the passage, remember the context of said passage, and then begin the hunt. It definitely takes longer. With all that, I am still not reinstalling Safari. I am going to remain without internet. It is annoying alot. But I can’t surf. And that is worth the annoyance.
Facebook Messenger smoked me. I was in the middle of selling things on Marketplace, so I was missing messages everyday. People were so annoyed with me. I had to cave and get that app back during the second week. But, I turned off notifications so it will stop buzzing in my pocket.
Having no email was scary. What if someone had something urgent to email me? A few times this was the case. But both times I was able to go to the office and pull up the email and the world didn’t end. Regardless, after thirty days I am reinstalling Email.
My online banking allows me to pay bills on the go. I can take pictures of checks and see how we are doing on our monthly budgets. Not having it was more than annoying. I find that I usually take time during breakfast to keep on top of bills. Taking that off and I fell behind real quick. So, I have put internet banking and Mint back on the phone.
Social media is something I thought I would miss more. Honestly, I jumped on Facebook last night in the office. And it was awful. There is always outrage somewhere on the internet, and I guess this week there is some in the American Church. Literally, the first thing I saw was good friends talking bad about one another on other friend’s walls. They are awful, we are awesome. They are stupid, we are smart. It made me really sad. Sad for the catalyst of the the controversy, and for the way we react to it. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will not be coming back.
I am glad to have no games in my pocket. My mind is prone to wander, and giving it no further distractions was a good idea. Sure, I had a few waiting room appearances where I had nothing to do. There was one time that was made for a mobile game. But giving up that one time of a little boredom for a dozen interruptions is worth it. Games will not be coming back to the phone.
Kindle is a great app. It is a good thing to read, and any device that helps people read is a plus in my book. But my quest is to take away my phone as a escape. And for me, reading is often just that. Even good reading at the wrong times is not what my life needs. So, I have it on my iPad, which requires more intentionality. I can read at the office. I can read it on the couch after the kids go to bed. But it’s not in my pocket at the table. It’s not right there on date night. Kindle and AP News and CNN and Apple News are not coming back.
My cell phone usage is down more than 50%. My pickups are down 70%. That is an incredible number. I am picking up my phone on average 60 times a day. In a twelve hour day I am looking at my phone 5 times an hour. That is so much better than I was a month ago. And I am willing to deal with the inconveniences of no internet, no app store, no games, no reading platforms, and no social media to do it. I will report in a few months to see if I am able to live this way long term.