Yesterday, it dawned on me that I’ve finally managed to kill my phone. My phone, in all its capabilities and glory, bores me to tears these days.
I killed my phone two weeks ago when I removed the Safari app, the only app left on my phone that kept me glued to the screen. Besides its basic features, like texting, making phone calls, and taking pictures, the most entertaining app on my phone right now is the Hoopla app, a digital platform for borrowing books from the public library.
. . .
I was inspired to write this post by a book I’m currently reading on Hoopla, Feck Perfuction: Dangerous Ideas on the Business of Life by James Victore, Chapter 4: Kill your phone.
Victore’s argument for killing our phone is to create room for solitude and deep thoughts. When we remove distractions, we create the time, energy and space to do the things that we value: spend time with people we love, work on our hobbies, and produce better quality work.
“Craft takes concentration, excellence takes time. To be serious about our work, we must be conscious of the time we spend on ourselves versus the time we spend on screens.“
. . .
Killing your phone is metaphorical.
After some deliberate considerations, I have overcome my pure millennial angst towards smartphones and have arrived at the conclusion that I’m very fond of my smartphone.
I like having access to an amazing tool that has made my life convenient and provided me with lots of information and entertainment. It has given me access to learn so much about the world around me, myself and life in general.
Of course, it has also been a source of distraction, procrastination, and laziness. I have spent countless hours mindlessly browsing on my phone, time I could have spent doing things I value.
As a compromise, I have adapted digital minimalism as a guide for using my digital devices intentionally to optimize my life and not as a distraction tool.
Since removing all browsing apps from my phone, my phone is almost entirely useless for entertainment purposes and the benefits have been apparent.
I find myself constantly doing things, even small things I’d usually put off because I’m immersed in my phone. I read a lot more now. I stay longer with the discomfort of doing things, like writing or going to the gym, because the alternative would be doing nothing, no entertainment to escape into.
Every time I pick it up desperately looking for entertainment, I’m met with disappointment.
As the days go on, the desperation is becoming less and less pestering. My brain is finally accepting that my phone is no longer equipped to lessen its existential despair, and I always find something else to do instead.
. . .
What it means to kill your phone will differ greatly from individual to individual.
For some, it could be removing social media apps. For others, it might be getting rid of their smartphone and switching to a flip phone. For the more radical, it can be taken literally, and they might choose to not have a phone at all.
Regardless of how we implement this practice, we all can benefit from ‘killing our phone’ to rescue our attention and time and devote them instead to more valuable pursuits.
Killing my phone has been a wonderful experiment that has led me to do more of the things that I aspire to do in my day-to-day life.
This article took me two hours to write. I used to spend more than two hours doing mindless activities on my phone in one setting.
Kill your phone.
Until next time… 🙂
P.s. If I’m being totally honest with myself, it does suck a bit to have this amazing tool and I can only use it with restrictions so I can redirect my attention and spend my time on more useful and rewarding activities.
Of course, this says more about me, as the user, than the tool itself.