Smartphone usage changes our lives


The problem

Smartphones are devices that most people are very dependent on, to the point of addiction. I believe the problem that they have is that they are too accessible and easy to reach, meaning, people that have social media or games on their phone are more likely to end up “doomscrolling” without even noticing, wasting useful time. Dark patterns are present in every successful mobile app sadly, patterns that are made to keep you on the app for longer periods than the expected ones, things such as “daily-bonuses” in games to algorithms in social media. As an example, you could take out your phone to check the time, but instantly be absorbed by a notification, or by just plain muscle memory open a social media app or a game.

Solution?

The solution? Not so simple, gone are the days were we are able to just use “dumbphones”, since smartphones nowadays are quite literally a requirement, even to open a bank account you need a smartphone, it’s insane but true.

So the real solution is the following: Make your phone dumber!, remove all social media from it, of course no games, and remove dark patterns such as unnecessary notifications from specific apps, and if posible disable them altogether, including sound and vibrating notifications, this way you will stop your addiction and also have a phone with three times more battery.

And if you want to go the extra mile, (android-only), you should try a different app launcher, a minimal one, that removes app icons from the homescreen, this makes your phone more “boring”, and without app icons and colors to distract you, you are much less likely to be distracted by the homescreen or animations, as you should as well disable them, I recommend disabling animations to make using the phone less “smooth and satisfactory” so that you wont just “open-close” apps for no reason.

Tutorial

First download a minimal launcher, foss is a requirement of course, here’s my own launcher recommendation that I use daily, OLauncher, labeled by the dev as “Minimal AF launcher app for Android.” and as a funny subtitle they say that “AF stands for ad-free. :)”. Good humour!

I also recommend to disable animations by enabling “developer options” and changing the animation speeds to cero, I’ve tried disabling animations from the normal accessibility settings, but that settings disables EVERY animation, making using the recents app “menu” really unbearable, but you may prefer it.

Also if posible get rid of at least one social media app, I got rid of all of them.

Result

After following those instructions you’ll end up with a phone looking similar to this: Example of the setup

What do you think? Is it good? Do you feel it’s boring?, if it feels boring then it’s working!, tell me right down in the comments if you think I’m wrong or have a suggestion for me or others. Make some of your own suggestions!

Ending + self-promo

I hope you found this useful, have a great rest of your day. And if you go out of your way to leave big tech social networks, you may want to use RSS feeds to follow people you care for (future post comming?), and if you do want a “truly real” social media, with true interactions, no algorithms and no dark patterns go over to Mastodon!, you can find me over there too!, It’s the only social media account I have, and it is the only social media that is actually not addictive, and although it is not as simple as algorithmic social media to go down into, there’s many guides as to how to find people to follow. (maybe future post on it?)