Combat technology fatigue with apps and settings, or with a more basic phone.
Phones have been getting smarter. And smarter! With ever-escalating computing power, crystalline, HD displays, sophisticated voice assistance, games …
It’s no surprise that we at Cellular Sales love our smartphones. We get really excited with each new flagship model release. We seek out all kinds of new ways to up our smartphone photography game, geek out on apps that show us new ways to productivity, connecting with others and even helping us unplug for a while. The technology is amazing—and life-changing for thousands—but some people are experiencing fancy phone-fatigue. Some are turning toward more basic phones, and others are realizing the importance of self-limiting notifications and distractions. The smartphone market has reacted, with consumers reaching for everything from “dumbphones” to ultra-expensive, super-sophisticated phones. Read on to learn more, and find out how you can take back your own attention span!
For some people, lower cost and lack of features are at the top of the list for what they want in a communication device. For these guys, all the notifications, tracking, games and fancy cameras lead to headaches instead of entertainment. They really just want what some call a dumbphone, capable of simple messaging and voice calls.
Others have one major reason for downgrading their phones: escaping social media. We’ve all experienced that incendiary Facebook post, or maddening Tweet, or even well-meaning Instagram that makes us lose focus on what we’re supposed to be doing here and now. Work, exercise, even personal relationships can lose out when we’re still stuck on processing the latest social media post. But, you don’t have to ditch your smartphone to regain your sanity. Check out the tips at the end of this blog to take control of what you see, and when.
Starting out with—or backing down to—a more basic phone is an excellent option when you’re not ready to buy the newest flagship model on the market. Young kids, vulnerable teens and older people are prime demographics for less-smartphones, because they either don’t need or don’t want to be connected all the time. We used to have to walk to a television, radio, video game console, telephone (all separate devices! Imagine!) and turn them on each time we wanted to use them. There’s a lot of digital noise in the world now, and the ability to limit it has to be a conscious choice. Entry-level phones are one answer. They’re friendlier to the budget, as well.
Extreme Basic Phone
If you’re concerned about excessive screen time, you could always remove it altogether! This battery-free cellphone harvests energy from the environment, consuming almost zero power. It’s basically a green circuit board with earphones. To call this a dumbphone is an understatement, if you don’t take into account the brainpower that went into creating it. So far, this phone only makes and receives voice calls through Skype, via the cell network. The team is working on adding a visual display. And, by the way, this phone isn’t on the market!
Extreme Sophisticated Phones
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, crying out for even more sophisticated devices, this is the phone for you. The Solarin phone may just be the most sophisticated smartphone in existence. It’s certainly expensive, at a range of $13,000 to $16,000. For one phone. The company—Sirin Labs—prides itself on having created the most privacy-obsessed communication device available. It’s blockchain-based, optimized for cryptocurrency and triple-secured, with biometric, lock pattern and behavioral authentication. If you don’t understand what all that means, this phone is not the phone for you. It’s pretty fancy, too, with jewelry-grade touches and military-grade toughness.
Between the battery-less phone and the ultra-sophisticated Solarin is the smartphone you probably have in your pocket. The technology that went into making it is pretty amazing. It has enabled the gig economy, communication with friends and family across the world, scientific leaps and other human-lifting advancements. Smartphones make daily life both easier (when was the last time you went somewhere new without your phone’s GPS?) and safer, with emergency services at the tips of your fingers. As with just about everything, it’s how you use a thing that really matters. You can keep your powerful smartphone and still limit your digital noise, retaining to ability to have all the tech you want at your beck and call.
Tips to Get Some Peace and Quiet:
1. Airplane mode
Select this mode from your Settings to turn off your connection to the outside world. Top executives use this at set times to regain their centers and stay sane. Or, they even turn off their phone altogether! (gasp!)
2. Selective notifications
Go to Settings, and turn off notifications one by one. Some of us still want to receive email notifications, but we don’t care whether our Poodles & Puns Pinterest board got a new like—at least not right at this moment! To regain your attention span, tell all those apps to shush.
3. Do not disturb.
Simply turn off all noise and notifications with the “Do Not Disturb” setting, and check on emails and texts when you feel like it.
4. Try apps.
It may seem counterintuitive, but apps really can help you wean your attention away from your phone screen. Here are a couple of suggestions:
MILK is a new app focused on helping you earn reward points anytime you put the phone down—and don’t pick it back up—when you should be focused on your surroundings instead. At the movies, eating dinner, holidays … you could get incentivized with rewards by putting the phone down when you should, anyway.
Forest for iOS and Android is an app we featured in our Back to School blog. When you open the app and leave your phone alone, a digital forest grows. Each time you break your phone fast, leaves fall off and your trees die.