I am trying a new thing called Digital Minimalism. Basically, I have deleted all of the apps off my phone and will only use my phone for what its intended use was – to call people. I think it will be highly beneficial.
I got the idea from Cal Newport. Cal wrote the book called Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. I am almost done with it.
Essentially, Cal challenges the reader to delete all of the apps of his or her phone for 30 days. During these 30 days of “digital minimalism” instead of staring at your phone for four hours a day you instead pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill and even try to be content in solitude.
I am on day three of being a digital minimalist. So far the challenge has been highly beneficial. I never realized how addicted I was to my smartphone.
Instead of staring at my phone the second I wake up, meditate in bed. Instead of sitting on the toilet scrolling through social media feeds I just sit on the toilet. Instead of going through my email when I eat breakfast, I stare out the window or read a book. Instead of looking at my phone anytime there is a moment of opportunity (in an elevator, on the subway, in line for lunch, filling up my water, brushing my teeth, etc.) well you get it.
I feel like with an extra four hours in my day (what the average person spends looking at their smartphone) I will redevelop myself. I think I can read a book a week. I have begun to study the programming language Python. I have actual conversations with my significant other after a long day in the office instead of mind numbing myself to the scroll. I will write more. I feel enlightened!
If it wasn’t for my job I would get rid of my smartphone completely. I still need my smartphone when I am traveling (for Google Maps, for checking stock quotes, for sending off a quick email). But maybe I can have a smartphone and not be dragged into the constant urge to look at it. So far the urge to use hasn’t been hard. But it has only been three days.
I haven’t charged my phone since Sunday night. It still has 75% of its battery. Back when I was using my phone everyday I would have to charge it daily on the weekdays, twice a day on the weekends. I was addicted and I didn’t even realize it.
I think if people read Cal’s book they would realize what a waste of time a smartphone is. There is very little incremental benefits to social media and 99% of the smartphone apps out there. Social media and apps are designed to make you addicted. The big media corporations have you sucked in and you don’t even realize it. Smartphone addiction is an epidemic.
Like I said, I am only on day three. I plan to write updates on how my addiction is going. I hope to beat this. And I hope you join me. Comment below if you are a digital minimalist or want to become one. We can beat smartphone addiction together!