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It’s as if we’re married to our phones. The first thing I do when I wake up – check my phone. The last thing before I go to bed….. guess what? I kiss my phone goodnight. No I am not going to curse social media & tell you how bad Instagram is. It’s a tool, that’s it. It all depends on how we use it. I love sharing my photos & there have been plenty of times when I’ve seen something which inspired me & was useful.

BUT

There are a lot of issues. The main problem is that instead of me choosing what to do with this tool, the tool is ‘smart’ enough & keeps telling me what I should look at. (aka notifications)

The notification is someone else’s priority, not yours.

  • A lot of times when I am working on something, I’ve found myself getting distracted by my phone’s screen lighting up due to a notification. I can’t help but take a sneak peek.
  • 9/10 times the notification is absolute garbage. Even if it’s work related – it doesn’t need my immediate attention. It can wait.
  • Even if I keep my phone upside down, the vibration also acts as a trigger – inviting me to check.
  • Sometimes ‘that’ notification can trigger anxiety.
  • While I am focusing on a task or working on a project- It keeps disrupting my train of thought & focus.

The Experiment

So here’s what I am doing to avoid being sucked into my phone screen.

  1. Enabled “Do not disturb” mode permanently. Only calls are allowed. (Basically my phone won’t vibrate & the screen won’t light up UNLESS someone is calling me)
  2. Disabled notifications for all applications including email. (Only exception : WhatsApp)
  3. Disable ‘Siri Suggestions’ where Siri shows you suggested or most used apps.
  4. Remove all apps from the first home screen & put them inside folders on the second home screen.

Step 3 & 4 both act as an extra step to open a distracting app. For instance, you’ll have to swipe and go to the second home screen, then click on a folder & then open ‘that app’. By then, hopefully you’ll abandon the idea if it’s not required at that moment.

The whole point is – If I feel like using Instagram, I want to do that manually. I don’t want a random notification enticing me. If I am working on task ‘X’ – I don’t want an email about task ‘Y’ to pop up & distract me.

I started this experiment a few weeks ago & already I am loving it. Let’s see how it goes. Will update this page soon with any additional steps I took & my experience!


Date : 5th March 2020

Currently I am using my phone almost 1.5 hrs daily & I pick it up about 130 times per day on an average.

My Screen Time

Prateek Katyal

Prateek Katyal

I create ‘stuff’ on the interwebs 🌎 ‘Stuff’ 👉 photos, videos, websites 📸

2 Comments

  • Nittika says:

    It’s a good practice. I agree with what you said. Unnecessary app notifications tend to distract you from the task at hand and shift your attention and mind to something else.
    I at times have gone on a social media detox, usually during the weekends where I don’t go on social media at all and only go on social media- Instagram usually on Monday morning. But at this day and age where phones and social media has taken over are life, it can be hard to do that.

    One could also turn off notifications of some apps and check them during one’s free time.

    Good luck! I hope it works.

    • Prateek says:

      Thanks for reading, Nittika
      I’ve also tried a Social Media Detox before & it has worked well. But I just want to find a fine balance. The idea is to check them exactly when I want!

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