Five tips to kick your smartphone habit

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3) Delete Facebook, Twitter, Insta and other “attention loop” apps.

Number 3 made me all tingly inside.


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But how will I check BoingBoing?

In all seriousness, I think I am getting bursitis in my shoulder from my daily walks while reading on my phone.


I will be starting today with Rob’s #1–I bough a BLU Zoey 2.4, and will see if I can live without constant access to data, FB, twitter, etc…


1) Don’t charge it by your bed.

I’m going to recommend that people actually do charge their phone by their bed, or at least in the same room and quickly reachable. Right after locking your doors and windows when you aren’t home or are asleep, keeping your phone handy is one of the best ways to stay safe. If an intruder breaks into your home, and you have to run past them to the living room to get your phone to call 911, your whole situation is counter-productive.


I switched from charging my phone beside my bed a few weeks back and now I get to sleep more quickly, and if I wake up during the night I go back to sleep fairly quickly instead of browsing aimlessly for hours. As a bonus I set an alarm on my phone in the next room so I’m forced to get straight out of bed in the morning before it pisses off my wife, so now I avoid the temptation for prolonged snoozing as well.

I haven’t done any of the other stuff though, I love my attention loops during the day :3


I sometimes put my phone by the bed for an alarm (generally I don’t need one as I have children) but I have everything turned off and I don’t think it even occurred to me to browse teh internets if I have woken up in the middle of the night.

I agree about getting rid of all the attention apps and push email. Emails virtue is that it isn’t instant but rather allows a composed reply when you have time to treat the query properly. It’s not a text or a phone call.

I still fiddle with my phone a fair bit in queues or whatever but it’s when I choose to rather than when the phone tells me to. Works for me. I recently had an accident and had to get the bus to work for a few weeks, read a bunch of books, the phone never interrupted me.


Why not compromise and charge it on your dresser, or somewhere else in your bedroom that is still out of reach when you are in bed?

That said, keeping your phone within reach just because of potential intruders seems a bit paranoid. Unless you live in a high crime area, what are the chances your home will be intruded, particularly if it is locked? If you are addicted to your phone, the long-term risk of having it nearby all the time may be greater than the risk of an intruder.

Also, I’d speculate that most intruders skedaddle if they hear someone coming, particularly in the US with its high rates of gun ownership.


This is what “addiction” means now? Any somewhat counterproductive habit?



I leave it in the car when I go to restaurants. I leave it out of reach but within earshot when I’m at work and stuff.

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I keep my phone by the bed, but mostly because I have a note5 and can draw on it with the stylus with the screen dimmed without disturbing my co-sleeping* toddler or my wife (though she’s on her phone at the same time usually). I don’t have FB or Twitter, but I do have email. I don’t get many emails. So I guess my strategy has been to work in a low-pressure environment, and have few friends. It…has its trade-offs, to be sure…

*her crib with one side taken off, pushed up against the bed so she can crawl in and out of our bed as needed. in a one-bedroom apartment, It’s turned out to be a pretty damn good arrangement.


This is exactly what many behaviorists, Christian counselors, and positive psychologists believe.


Your skepticism is warranted. Luckily, there’s research on this. Here’s an old (2004) study that clearly separates cases of addition from cases of excessive use:
Then see the long list of work on internet and smartphone addition since then in the “cited by” list. It’s a huge body of research by now.


I always liked Newhart’s advice on getting over bad habits:


[quote=“mallyboon, post:9, topic:96675, full:true”]Why not compromise and charge it on your dresser, or somewhere else in your bedroom that is still out of reach when you are in bed? [/quote]I totally agree, which is why I suggested that in the post you are replying to.

Whether keeping your phone handy (an extremely achievable activity) is paranoid or not is really subjective, but has minimal risk and probably has less of an impact on your life than several other actions that people regularly take to protect themselves or others.

I feel like gambling on an intruder skedaddling when you announce your mere presence is probably 1000x riskier than keeping a phone by your bed, but I don’t have any statistics on this.

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Yeah, I’m seeing an uptick in work-from-home stuff and don’t want to get rid of my phone for that reason, but I strongly recommend turning on Do Not Disturb on your phone. Personally, I’m about to head out on a walk on a national forest trail, and will do that. It’s actually a little redundant because half the time I don’t get a signal anyway. I keep the phone on me in case I feel like taking a picture.

What I’d love, and maybe someone here can suggest it, would be if Gmail would allow me to change the notification interval. At a previous job, I had set to notify me no more than once an hour if I had new mail. I still had salespeople coming to me 10 seconds after they’d sent a mail, but y’know, imho one of the great things about email is that it’s instantaneous but it doesn’t have to be top priority.

I charge mine by the bed. Both iOS and Android have Do Not Disturb features, my phone switches to Priority Only at 11 p.m. and doesn’t turn back on until an hour after my alarm goes off.

I also use my phone as a brown noise generator.


Apologies - I misread your comment and focused on the “run past the intruder to get phone in living room” part.

Hit them with your phone?

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