Back when I used social media I noticed I'd be very angry arguing with people I didn't even know. Never meet anyone with a job. Deleted all that crap, moved , and had an amazing partner( she had a JOB) within a month.
Life is right here, if your at a coffee shop and you notice someone reading a book that seems interesting ask about it. Works out much more often than chatting with bots. Even when snapchatting with a "real" person, the "typing" notification felt like a raw anxiety machine. Now I only meet people in real life, text her once if she'd like to get dinner at 8 or so and then move on with my life.
Feels really good to hop off the social media hamsterwheel. Me a few years ago:
Gotta get more followers to get more likes to get more followers to get more likes to get more followers. Then maybe my matches will see how cool and popular I am. It's very much pointless. You'll never be popular enough. Without question I've removed the vast majority of stress from my life by ditching social media. Frankly my life is amazing. But if I'm staring at what other people have all day I'll never recognize it. Everyone will post 'just engaged' photos , no one is posting 'our marriage has been really rough, but I don't want to move back in with my parents'.
Social media is where one shares ones social life (it's in the name!). HN, like many other sites dating back to the days of USENET, is a subject discussion forum; in HN case, a technical / IT discussion forum.
Granted, there are sometimes crossovers between the two, but HN certainy isn't one of them.
Oh, maybe it's not exactly like facebook or Twitter, but it ticks so many other boxes.
I could list many, and argue about them (arguing: another staple of social media), but the most important to me is that HN is effectively a procrastination tool, and it's associated with that mental "fix" of instant gratification.
It's different from facebook in that HN is more heavily moderated and more focused, but other than that, it triggers the same kind of (bad) habits, at least in my case.
It's not exactly the same as contacts on Facebook, though it's closer to Reddit. Definitely social media.
Reddit, on the other hand, is a huge time sink (some good, some bad, I read an awful lot of short fiction on Reddit, and I consider that a positive).
I can think of dozens upon dozens of posts that were useful over the years! In a way HN has reduced the amount of networking I have had to do in order to see what people are interested are in, as they are posted here!
I do it myself. Even though I spent half my life in a word where the only way to talk to a friend was to pick up a phone and dial their number, today’s Jason recoils violently from the idea of doing something so rude and invasive as that.
So just in case: in a previous world, sitting in a prominent place doing superficial activity such as reading, smoking, or looking at a phone screen was a signal that one was open to casual conversation.
That's not universally true. To my understanding, places like Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland), Japan, and Russia have historically had cultures that don't encourage randomly walking up to strangers and striking up a conversation.
While I agree in principle for healthy people, it's a waste of time, but for people for whom light entertainment is their medicine... would you rather they be drinking?
This comes up a lot re: video game addiction.
The jury's still out on the impact of social media and light entertainment (i.e. YouTube) on mental health. UK teens for example are doing far fewer drugs, getting pregnant from unsafe sex much less often, rising in school rankings, despite less sleep and higher levels of reported anxiety from watching more YouTube and Instagram.
"Everything in moderation" is kind of reductionist, of course we'd prefer that an asinine activity whose harm must be marginally declining the more people use it, not less, for the average person, substitute a harmful one like, I don't know, smoking meth. That's definitely happening for some people.
While I don't find anything wrong with light entertainment being one's medicine, why make the assumption that drinking is the next viable 'medicine' in line? Are there not countless alternatives to drinking to remedy "boredom, stress, loneliness, etc."? Picking up hobbies? Sports? Anything else?
Edit: I want to clarify I'm not judging those who cope with alcohol - I'm 5 years sober, I've been there, I get it. I just don't know why we should assume OP wants people to become alcoholics.
Phones, games, apps, and social media are, quite literally, engineered to be addictive.
Addiction is powerful. There are plenty of cases of star athletes ending up as homeless junkies, and this isn't because they lacked the ability to engage in higher-effort, healthy hobbies.
Especially for the generation of kids raised on (and often by) smartphones and tablets. Breaking those addictions can open up a universe of new possibilities, and provide much more positive outlets for all of the energy previously invested in games or social media.
Yes, I'd argue that it literally is because they lacked the ability to engage in higher-effort, healthy hobbies. Ask any star athlete junkie what he thinks is more healthy and more fulfilling: hobbies & sports, or whatever drug they ended up addicted to? They know what's better for them. For one reason or other, they don't do it. If the reason is addiction, that literally implies that they can't do it and addiction overpowers their ability to engage in higher-effort, healthy hobbies as a replacement.
> Breaking those addictions can open up a universe of new possibilities
Except you're not breaking these addictions, you're just sequestering or discouraging one particular abuse. Sometimes that helps. After all, teenage abstinence isn't zero percent effective. After all, cold turkey isn't zero percent effective. Though, the universe of possibilities they open tend to be relatively unreliable compared to teenagers having sex anyway & junkies returning to drugs, or safe sex & methadone.
> Phones, games, apps, and social media are, quite literally, engineered to be addictive.
No they're not, they're engineered to be engaging. There's no evidence I know of that phones, apps, etc consistently induce anything close to the addictive response in humans as the addictive substances we know of. Frankly, claiming that these things are "engineered to be addictive" is flat out misleading and conflates the extremely consistent & brutal consequences of addiction as science understands it with the much less understood area of social media.
You've managed to take... Well a bunch of things which do not create physiological dependency and decide they're exactly equivalent to opiates.
I guess it’s phases of connectedness - an iPad let’s me be more mobile than my computer. My phone let’s me be more mobile than my iPad, and my watch covers the rest. Do I need this level of connectedness? Probably 3x per year. But those three times are absolutely critical and it gives me peace of mind if I’m on vacation - if my watch isn’t ringing I’m free to do whatever it is in front of me.
I did the digital minimalism thing (and need to do it again soon), but a watch is a nice forcing function. And calls have to be short because they are on speaker phone (or EarPods / Bluetooth, which overall is a good setup).
If apple keeps going the way they are going, I will need a very strong argument to get my kid a smartphone in 10 years when I can get them a watch that allows them to make calls, send limited texts, and not get wrapped up in social media / taking photos all the time.
I spent four hours today demolishing a deck alone. I was afraid to break my phone so I left it.
Four hours of work without music or podcast. My brain went to all kinds of places and I solved like five different coding problems I was faced with at work.
I should really bill my employer.
The surrogate is Facebook Oculus Quest VR.
This might seem funny at first, but there are some advantages: while you stare at the screen, you also move at the same time, which I feel is important for health. The battery runs after an hour or so, and you have to put the device away. At this point I usually feel the need to do something again, but I'm no longer 'after work tired', and can do something productive like go jogging or do house chores.
The experiment is still going on, I feel it is promising.
"If you are bored, you are not paying attention."
So you can of course use your phone to cope with boredom — install a couple of good drawing / painting apps, music creation apps, study-something apps. Use them when bored.
Just stay away from the endorphin-pedal games which teach you nothing and are not a work of art to be experienced.
With that, a conscious act of putting down your phone and looking around is important. You can make it a habit without abandoning the phone altogether.
I have never heard this maxim. Is it well known?
The Pet Shop Boys sang, I would never find myself feeling bored 'cause we were never being boring.
(2) Ask any animal trainer, like a dog trainer.
I use it mostly for person to person communication and kid photos (the only things on my home screen are Messages, Signal, Hangouts, Element, the actual phone app, and the camera - everything else is buried over in the App Library), I've got most distraction websites blocked with 1BlockerX (not that it's hard to get around, but it's a good hurdle to jump), and about the only notifications I get are messages from people, plus emails on infrequent accounts (main account is poll only, no notifications).
It works well, though I still struggle with how much time can go vanishing down the rabbit hole of "I'm bored, I wonder what's on the internet today..."
I really need to get a "house phone" set up on an old cell phone. Get one of those "You only pay if you use it" plans, though I expect the spammers and scammers would cost me a lot of money that way.
I don't know what country you're in, (here in the UK I'd expect anyone would call that 'Pay As You Go (PAYG)') but could spammers and scammers really cost you anything? By calling/texting you? Even for pan-European stuff only the initiator pays these days.
There are three types of plans here.
* Standard postpaid contract. The flagship plans, lots of perks that may or may not be useful, used to have cell phones every 2 years.
* Prepaid plans, or "poor person plans." They're cheaper, usually lower priority on the network in the event of congestion, and work just fine as far as I'm concerned (I'm on one, US$30/mo for unlimited call/text and a whopping 2GB of data, of which I rarely use more than about 500MB, and half of that is system services).
* "Pay per day used" plans. These are something along the lines of a flat $2 for every day the phone is used to receive or send a call or text. They'd be perfect for an infrequently used cell-phone-as-house-phone that never left the property, but the scammers and spammers would make every day a "used" day, it seems.
Operator billing models are seldom rooted in reality, and often are quite counter productive - 4G originally was a "pay extra" feature, despite the fact it is in an operator's interest to get users onto 4G due to the increased spectral efficiency, and better performance with weaker signals (so less complaints). They designated VoLTE (4G HD calling) as a premium feature for contract users, but it actually reduces the load on the legacy voice network. And don't start me with WiFi Calling, which is also often a contract premium feature, but actually trunks the call over a connection the user already pays for (and avoids using the cellular network!) - common sense plays little part in how operator billing works.
In the UK look up the "termination rate" if you're interested - this was the mechanism through which the receiving side of the call made money and was able to offer receiving of calls for free.
What's really funny, on iOS, at least, is that the accessibility settings persist across device upgrades. You can configure a triple tap of the home button (or power button on newer devices) to toggle the accessibility option, so you can toggle quickly between greyscale and full color. This is nice if you're showing people photos, though I do tend to forget to switch it back.
I set up the option for someone on their phone years ago, and they'd apparently not used it much, because they entirely forgot I'd done it. On a phone or two later in their upgrade cycle, he had it laying on the table (locked), so I reached over and triple tapped the power button. And the setting had persisted all these years such that it still jumped to greyscale!
There are very, very few things that you can't do with a modern smartphone when it's in greyscale - any sort of colorblind aware application should be distinguishable without color details, and if you're not showing photos to people, it's entirely possible to go months in greyscale. I suggest trying it out!
(however, if you take a screenshot to show off your fancy new greyscale scheme, be aware that they're still taken in color)
I do read a lot on mobile so it is a productive entertainment for me but the problem is that constant exposure is not a good thing especially if the time it occupies is your family time.
I know that I'm addicted to the internet and screens, and I know I'd be that guy compulsively picking up my phone every 30 seconds to see if something is going on. Doubly so if I were in a social situation where it was "easier" to stare at my phone than actually talk to humans.
I think of it a lot like a recovering alcoholic not wanting to go into a bar - it's just best to avoid the temptation altogether.
It can be inconvenient not have a phone from time to time, but overall I think my life is better without one.
Whenever I'm asked for my number and I explain I don't actually have a phone, literally every single person gushes "OMG, I wish I could get rid of mine!". That helps keeps me motivated to deal with the inconvenience. (Like people complaining about horrid hangovers to recovering alcoholics)
For the first week I found myself looking for it in situations I never noticed, for example while waiting for my coffee to be made. Instead I had to find other things to do, like observe my surroundings, observe other people, be with my thoughts.
There are quite a few things that are _very_ handy having a smart phone around, though. Like Google Maps, or internet banking, but these can be mitigated by having an inexpensive secondary plan and keeping your 'smart phone' in your car, and most others can be managed by a web browser, _when you are at a computer_.
I have even considered what it might be like not having a phone at all for a while, and how odd would that be? I got my first phone at 16 years old and then I was able to contact friends to find out where they were if they were late, or to inform others that I was late, yet it was not very long ago that if you planned to meet someone you were both uncontactable while attempting to meet up.
It used to be a thing that you'd hang around for 30 or 60 minutes to see if your friend would 'show up' but I can't imagine that happening these days, for better or worse.
The new experiment begins, I guess!
I realised that I don't need to check emails as they arrive. Very few things require my attention.
I also removed time sink apps, with the exception of reading apps (I read myself to sleep with them).
I also stopped following everyone on some social media, so the feeds are empty, but I'm logged out anyway.
This has worked reasonably well. I am not a phone addict anymore, because my phone doesn't feed the addiction.
Maybe just laugh of the idea but don't actually buy it.
The waste it produces for no reason is in my opinion unconscionable - I spent more time than I admit checking through the site to see if it's a parody with no real available product, and then double checked the comments here hoping to validate that the whole thing wasn't real.
Chunks of useless throwaway plastic that will end up polluting our oceans, not so cute.
I'm not "punishing them for the sins of the Great Polluters", I'm just expressing an opinion on a public forum. Sadly, the only way we have to change the behavior of "the Great Polluters" is showing them we care.
I see enough plastic garbage on our beaches, I try to minimize my own plastic waste and will call people out on it. It may not change the world, but it are the only tools I have.
However, I have a regular mega phone with wifi only for lounging on the sofa, so I still have that problem when I'm at home :/
I'm using a Nokia 2720 Flip (https://phonesstorekenya.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Noki...), a phone from a line of those old-time phones: big physical buttons, 4 directional keys. It runs KaiOS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KaiOS) a recent OS that targets low-end "dumbphones" but still gives them modern functionalities. Most are unneeded in the context of the thread (Facebook, Ok Google) but some might be useful (there's Whatsapp if you really need it, emails)
There's a list of devices that are sold with it in the wiki page. It's primarily targeted at emergent markets but you definitely can buy them. Bonus: because they're simple, they're cheaper
The trick is to make it simple enough there is nothing to update. I still have and use my 2006 Motorola Razr (also have a Palm phone). Of course the razr doesn't get updates but there's nothing to update. It can't run any external code, it can't connect to anything and no sensitive data ever enters or exits it. So, it's the perfect phone.
I'd pay anything for a new phone just like the Razr but with 4G or later, zero additional features. Only reason I also have the Palm phone is that 2G doesn't work everywhere anymore so I need a backup.
As a user I don't believe it matters that much what OS or what language you're using as long as it's stable and functional. KaiOS definitely fits the bill
And unless you live alone, which many don't, other people will usually have phones.
You can also buy a dumb phone specifically for emergencies, 911 doesn't require a paid line.
And like other's said, you can probably pry that sucker open. It looks flimsy honestly, with no lock or dead bolt connecting the two parts in the front...
But that thing looks somewhat expensive, and the idea that you may break it should be enough to keep you away from the usual distractions.
I like the NoPhone Air best. Zero weight, and it would be unsinkable in a toilet bowl!
Rock solid, never gave me any trouble. Works exactly as advertised.
It was on Kickstarter first, iirc. I laughed so hard that I bought one.
I'm a phone minimalist/essentialist. I did started early with "smart" phones and was on the forefront of most new phones, including being one of the early iPhone users. However, I did realize that this was not good for the lifestyle I want to live. So, I've been leading a No-Phone-ish Life by early 2011.
The screen greyscale thing do not work with me. The one key app that I need color is Maps (Google/Apple).
Someone in the comments mentioned pairing your phone with a Watch. Yes, this works. I have practically stopped using the phone in and around the house or even while walking/running down in the community spaces where I live.
For young toddlers, say 1-2, this works for a day or two up to maybe a week. Then they learn to distinguish between the ones you go for and the ones you don't.
They want to do what you do, they will go for your phone, pen, laptop, glass etc precisely because it is yours.
Later, say 2.5-3 and up, when they are capable of self sustained imaginary play having a prop is nice. But by then, anything will do because the play is in the imagination.
On iPhone, the setting is buried under accessibility > display and text size > color filters