Human Clinical Trials
How many hours a day do you have to spend on your phone for a doctor to tell you, “you’re addicted?” Spend a second googling, “technology addiction” or are “are ipads bad for children” and you’ll find some very real data that might freak you out. Don’t freak out, but get educated.
We are the 1st participants in the trial; humans living today are the only humans in all of history to experience long term consistent technology use. Let that sink in. Computers, smart watches, wifi, bluetooth earbuds, and cell phones are bad for health and we are the first trial.
To avoid the extremely depressing facts about how bad they are for you I’ve created a list of things you can actually do to improve your health by changing the way you interact with your smartphone. Ideally you leave the article feeling like, my phone is a tool not a device for distraction.
Turn off notifications. The world is lobbying for your attention, and your attention is the most valuable currency you have. Luckily you can take it back by adjusting a few settings and deciding to focus on what really matters to you each day. Turn all notifications off. Studies show that attention spans are shortening while anxiety is increasing. Technology, specifically social media is engineered to keep your mind in a reactionary anxiety inducing state. This is what the professionals call an “attract and distract” marketplace, how well they can do this, is exactly how valuable you are to them in $ signs.
Grayscale & Night Shade
Colors evoke emotions. The color red is a prime example, red is associated with danger and fear. It also happens to be the most common notification color for social media. Different colors light up different areas of the brain, if you want your brain to be more relaxed try grayscale. Your phone will instantly become less stressful and you’ll probably get bored with it faster. You can easily flip it on and off if your work requires you see colors.
If you’re on ios easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale or disable it.
On android normally you can add it to the pull down menu at the top by swiping the menu down, hitting the pencil, scroll down to find the shortcuts that can be added, press and hold on grayscale and move up to the top. Now you can easily turn grayscale on and off.
Use Nightshade, all the time or at the very least at night, this is an absolute must even if you’re in grayscale! Blue light from screens at night time is extremely damaging to your eyes and is proven to decrease the quality of your sleep.
Charge device outside the bedroom
Put your device in airplane mode and charge it outside the bedroom. This can positively impact your life in a big way. First you won’t wake up and start scrolling. Second, you won’t have exposure to radiation throughout the night. 3rd you’ll start reading more and communicating with your partner on a deeper level before the day is done. Studies show that eliminating screen time an hour before bed will increase your quality of sleep.
Texting is a total waste of time, most of the time. Limit text communication to getting things done or making people laugh. If you want to connect with a friend talking over the phone is a way better and more efficient way to do so. Use quick responses and predictive text on Gboard to reduce time texting. Batching, leave your text messages unread for hours at a time and then do them all at once.
If you really want to spend more time off your phone delete all social media apps from your phone or only look at them during designated time. Remove it from the home screen so you have to search for it and you’ll quickly realize your searching for it all the time. (yes you may be addicted, but you’re not alone)
Homescreen dumb down
Spend less time on your phone by clearing the homescreen of all apps except your tools, when you need to launch an app search it.
News & Media
Don’t read the news on your phone. Delete the news apps and turn off apple news or android news. Both apple and android news know exactly what will infuriate you, or validate your position. Remember that anything the news apps on your phone show you is based off what they know will evoke strong emotions in you based on what you’ve looked at on your phone or computer over the last year. Attract & distract! If you want to stay current read the news on a computer and be mindful of what you’re drawn to click on. Historically print news and online news have been the largest purveyor of false information and the spreading of dangerous ideologies. Targeting people online is big business, the younger generation is the most impressionable and emotional which makes them the largest sought after segment.
What this really gets down to is attention and the time you focus on a particular task. Phones are insanely powerful tools, and perceiving them this way will improve your quality of life.