Life without smartphones (partly)

luokyio

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Hi,

I just made a decision over last weekend which I'm pretty excited about. As pretty much everyone, I use a smartphone way too much, all the time to be exact. I have only one phone that I use both for my work and private life. This means I keep getting work-related info on my free time too. Over Christmas we did an experiment with my wife that we simply shut off our phones, and it was so relaxing. Of course being out of reach cannot work long-term, but with minor adjustments it can be done.

So, I have decided that I'll get a new phone number for private use only, and buy some old Nokia phone to go with it. After work I will simply turn off my smart phone. My company will not probably collapse if I don't read and respond every email in a minute after receiving it. This way anyone can reach me by calling or texting, but I don't have temptations to be on social media (well, forums and whatsapp/telegram to be more exact, I'm not on facetwitgram).

I will not avoid Internet altogether, because that would never work. However I will use laptop to do stuff if I need, but it being less convenient than surfing on pocket device, I'm sure I can cut down online time considerably. I'll let you know how this starts to go, no matter if you want to know or not.

As a result I hope to get more hours to my day, being better parent and husband etc. Also old phones are cool.

I'd love to hear if someone else has done something similar.
 

MXM

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Good luck. I like that idea, and I'm convinced that this is a larger issue than people give it credit. On one hand, smartphone increases your circle of social interaction (which is great) and on the other it steals all the available free time. One of the reasons I've taken up cycling again, is because it's almost impossible to use the phone while on one, so I can at least think without being interrupted every minute. But then again, I often just listen to some podcast, which is probably not helping.

Personally, I'm not yet at the point where restricting access to a smartphone is necessary (I think so, anyway :p), but I've been consciously trying not to get the phone out of the pocket when I'm with other people. Doesn't always work, and the temptation is high when everyone else is staring at theirs.
 

Interrobang

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We've banned our cellphones, tablets and television from our bedroom. Sleeping time is sleeping time - not cellphone or internet-time. And if I wake up for some reason, I am not tempted to pass the time by browsing the internet or so ...
I consider it an improvement and I think I sleep better since we implemented this about 2 years ago. It is of course highly subjective.

The only concession to modern times is an e-reader ... apart from that and an clock radio, the bedroom is pretty much analog. (cannot say analog without anal - :drums:)

[...] On one hand, smartphone increases your circle of social interaction (which is great)
As an introvert, I would like to disagree with that statement. For me more social interaction is not necessary something I think of as "great". More as "stressful" and "taxing". A certain amount of social interaction is great - but "more"? Nah!
 
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public

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I've famously, partially soured a relationship due to being constantly glued to my 4S and other devices, so I know the topic well. For me, it's just about keeping the thought in the back of my head that which social interaction is more valuable, the blogosphere accessible via my pocket or the person on the other side of the table. Sometimes it's just the proper thing to do to throw every device away not to be reached and invest in quality time. But yeah, right now due to her internship she lives 500km away from me and we only see the other weekend, so I could duct-tape the phone in my hand and not seem weird at all. At least we call each other more often now.

Then again, I've kept my phone mostly silent for ages now. Hardly anyone calls me outside of the working hours, and I can always get back to them when the time is right. When working, the phone is within eye distance so I can see any contact attempts but there's no constant ringing or buzzing or alerting.

Also:

 

Blayde

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I can't subscribe to this theory because I don't see a problem with the amount I use, i dont have facebook or snapchat or most other social media apps on my phone other than twitter (which i just read and swipe at my convenience off my watch) so im not glued to it, I can not have my phone in my hand for hours and not worry as long as it doesn't ring. I assumed this was an issue for the newer generation but it seems older folks have this addiction too.
 

luokyio

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My main issue with smartphones is that whenever I don't have anything to do at the moment, I grab my OnePlus, jump to the couch and read the few forums I follow, check news, see if people in Telegram have something important to say. And all this is something I really don't need to do all the time. I hope now I go to build Legos or something equally important stuff while my kids are young. I don't want to regret in 10 years that I should have done this but didn't.
 

Misrabelle

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As an introvert, I would like to disagree with that statement. For me more social interaction is not necessary something I think of as "great". More as "stressful" and "taxing". A certain amount of social interaction is great - but "more"? Nah!
I'm also an introvert (I do realise this will come as news to some people :p), I find the great thing about this kind of interaction is that when it becomes too much, you can switch off, and no one is really the wiser. If you hit that point of "this was fun, but I'm done now", while you're actually out or around people - for me anyway, they tend to become annoyed when you don't participate much beyond that, or need to get up and leave long before the occasion is over.

A couple of times I've been on jobs where I was somewhere with no phone reception, and found myself lost for things to do with my down time, by not being able to use my phone. It felt ridiculous.
Now, I make sure I always have a book with me, and avoid using my phone unless I need to make a call.
One of my workmates complained when I saw him last week that I have been very quiet online, and asked if I was sick or something.

I have a stack of books to read, will be starting back at evening college shortly, still have plenty more of my giant tapestry to do (~5 years worth at the current rate), and I have a large number of musical instruments sitting in my bedroom to play with; so there is plenty to occupy my time away from screens.

Though the one thing I can't do without, is music. There is almost always music near me, whether that be CD/youtube/itunes, or playing an instrument myself.

EDIT: I did recently read about some kind of app (ironic, I know), that you can use to limit yourself to a certain amount of time on social media. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called though.
 
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gaasc

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I can't subscribe to this theory because I don't see a problem with the amount I use, i dont have facebook or snapchat or most other social media apps on my phone other than twitter (which i just read and swipe at my convenience off my watch) so im not glued to it, I can not have my phone in my hand for hours and not worry as long as it doesn't ring. I assumed this was an issue for the newer generation but it seems older folks have this addiction too.
Young, similar use case here. I can spend aeons not looking at my phone. Most weekends it stays plugged in its charger. The lack of social media (which I find is an extreme version of sturgeon's law anyway) means that I do not feel the urge of watching them. I really do not care about what other people are doing, if its relevant to my interests, they will tell me.

However, I've found that with the trend of big phones and their replacement of tablets means that I can use them as an ereader. as such, now I can read everywhere, and to everyone else I just look like another dweeb instagramming a picture of a corn flake shaped like jerry purpdrank or something.
 

Misrabelle

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I don't think we can actually use phones that old anymore.
Our 2g network was recently switched off, I don't think CDMA works anymore either.
 

luokyio

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Our 2G is still kicking, for now. Actually it might have the best coverage still over 3/4G. Sometimes when on remote areas, my Oneplus still hooks to a G zone. Sure, this will probably not last too many years but lets enjoy while it does.
 

CD82

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Good step. It's important to realize that something about your daily routine is bugging you, and then follow through with changing it for the better.
 

Adamar

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Then again, I've kept my phone mostly silent for ages now. Hardly anyone calls me outside of the working hours, and I can always get back to them when the time is right.
That's what i started doing for a couple months now. Just put the phone on silent. I don't actually need it for work. And outside work i don't call or text, just telegram.
It has stopped me from checking my phone every time it rings with a notification. And most chats on telegram and whatsapp have also been muted.
It allows me to concentrate more on my work, and less on the phone.
 

GRtak

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I am actually fairly new to having a modern smartphone, but I have used a cellphone for ages, mostly supplied by employers. Most of the time, work required us to have the phones on and expected us to pick up. That was also fine most of the time. There were also some people that thought since we were required to have the phone, that any little thing popping into their minds was justification to use it.

I can not imagine the added stress having a computer in your hand would add to a job. I know one of the problem people I had dealt with would be a huge pain in the ass.
 

RdKetchup

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During my 3 weeks Christmas vacation I caught myself checking my work email (using outlook website access website from my phone). Every. Single. Day.

The only 2 days I didn't check it was December 25th and 26th, and it actually took a conscious effort to refrain myself.

This is not healthy :|
 

Black Z Eddie

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I've never been into the smartphone craze. I'd say 90%+ is for text messaging with friends, family, and models. The rest is social media for killing time while waiting in line at a grocery store or drive thru. I charge my phone once about every 59 hours. I used to get almost 90 hours out of it until it got soaked at the at the beach because I forgot it was in my pocket. The screen no longer rotates so I think there's a short somewhere.

I hate watching videos or looking at photos on a phone. So damn small. To properly enjoy watching/viewing/reading anything, the smallest screen (laptop) I have is a 12".
 

rickhamilton620

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I make a conscious effort to not use my phone when with friends or while seeing my long term date - unless I have a funny thing to show them or if it helps with planning our night.

At meetings, the phone is also away.

In both instances I make a point to put the phone face down on the table as a way of saying "look, this is our time now and I'm not going to let anything disrupt that."

I'm torn on the use of phones at shows. I think it's OK with strict moderation.

Personally I'll take a couple (and I'm talking maybe 3 max per band if that) photos, maybe a short video clip of a cool thing that happened. That's it.

No need to have your phone out during the entire set though. It blocks the view of people behind you + there's always someone who forgets to turn off the flash... The last show I was at, one of the headlining bands told peeps to put the phone's away and enjoy/be in the moment. I liked that.
 
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