I love my iPhone. I do. It’s a thing that keeps me in touch with people, gives me cool stuff to look at when I’m standing in line, or more likely sitting on the toilet. There is an endless array of neat things to download and keep me occupied during spurts where I have nothing better to do. The truth is, however, that I have tons of things I should be doing. The iPhone is just a hit of dopamine that makes me feel good.
I took steps a couple weeks ago to remove social media from my life. I’ve been doing well without it, but I missed a critical detail regarding my phone: I still had tons of apps that kept me going to my phone. Even without social media apps, I was still finding ways to dive back into my phone and out of the real world. I decided to delete every app that I used that took me away from my moment. Any app that I could go to when I was idle had to go. The CNN app, Reddit, Instagram, all of it. I don’t even have a news app on my phone anymore.
My phone is boring and I am free.
Because of my little experiment, I have finished a book that I’ve been trying to get through for months. I have started another book and am most of the way through, I am playing with Sam instead of just being in the room with him while he plays, and I am seeking out more productive things to do with my time. All that time that I thought was just a few minutes I could steal and poke around on my phone is now being used for real growth. It’s fantastic.
I still open my phone and look at it, but everytime I do I’m met with nothing. Nothing to click on and no notifications begging for me to open some app I don’t need. You might think that I would be uninformed and a little lost on the happenings in the world. You would be right. I don’t know the day to day goings on of our government or what Kim Kardashian is wearing today. I never cared about the latter, but the former matters. I instead take some time in the morning to read news on a real computer like our grandparents did with the paper. I read it like it’s not a continuously updating stream of information. It’s just a morning review and then I get on with my life.
I have been amazed at how my life has changed since I started doing this. It’s not like some massive change in everything about me, but I’m taking control of something in my world that has had me in its clutches, and I’m proud of it. It was a problem, and I’m so thankful to have recognized and done something about it.