I dumped my iPhone (on purpose)

Tap. Scroll. Refresh. Repeat.

Recently I became acutely aware of my mindless interaction with my iPhone. It really pinched.

Why am I checking my email again? It’s been three minutes and I am not even expecting mail from anyone. In fact, my personal email account is rarely used for actual person-to-person communication — rather, it’s filled with receipts, newsletters, and messages from lists I should’ve unsubscribed from months ago.

But I’d check anyway. Maybe twenty-seven times a day.

Instagram, Yahoo! Finance, CoinMarketCap, Apple podcasts, Twitter… all the same.

Tap. Scroll. Refresh. Repeat.

So I dumped my iPhone and intentionally replaced it with phone that’s “designed to be used as little as possible.

It’s called a Light Phone.

It’s cheaper than an iPhone, but not a fifty-dollar flip phone. It’s a thin, black square that feels like a kindle and behaves like a… phone.

I can talk, text, listen to mp3s and podcasts, and use its simple calculator. That’s it. (And that’s perfect.)

Several people have taken notice at my workplace. Reactions vary; some confess zero interest in such a device, others admire the idea the phone represents.

“Why didn’t you just disable your apps?”

“What’s your phone called again? I want to tell my boyfriend about it.”

“I deleted all my social media accounts a month ago. I may get one of those.”

“Wait. You actually sold your iPhone?”

That last line is my favorite. At least three people commented this way. They understood my move to detether, yet assumed I had kept my iPhone “just in case.” (I get it. I’m an addict too.)

But it’s true: I sold my iPhone to a friend who, amazingly, has been carrying his 6s since 2014.

Now let me be transparent… I do have an iPad and an old 7+. The iPad has the apps I consider to be tools — and, yes, a few social accounts. The 7+ has spotify for my car as well as authentication apps.

So, I’m not teetotaling. But I’m not carrying the world in my pocket either.

And I’m OK.

In fact, I feel more fluid and more attentive. When I study, I study. When I work, I work. Even now: when I write, I write. The phone summons my attention for a call or an incoming text, but otherwise it’s quiet. Unsurprisingly, my mind is quiet too.

Attention is a powerful thing and preserving it, I think, it important. So I’m feeling the benefits of less digital noise even after one week.

Less: Tap. Scroll. Refresh. Repeat.

More: Everything else.

"The Internet is not free – we pay with our time and attention. Two of the most important things we have as humans."  (What Is Going Light? Remaining Human in this Digital Age)

Things worth viewing:

The Light Phone II (If you wish to join me…)

The Social Dilemma (Documentary regarding social media engineering)

What is Going Light? Remaining Human in this Digital Age (a zine via the Light Phone team)

Social Media and Mental Health (via Mental Health Matters)

Mirror, Mirror (Psychology Today)

Pay Attention to Attention (americanlibraries.org)

The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (discusses nature as a remedy for ‘continuous partial attention.’)

And just for fun… that uncomfortable moment when I met my iPhone’s replacement. I felt it in my stomach. iTentacles grip hard.

By the way, bravo on the aesthetics Light Phone team. 🙂

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