I’ve been trying to spend less time aimlessly bouncing between social media apps while using my phone.
The problem I’ve had in the past is that every time I’ve tried to detox, I’ve relied on discipline to keep me from sliding back to subconscious scrolling.
There is one trick which I’ve implemented that has had a huge lasting impact;
Delete everything non-essential from your phone’s homepage.
And I mean everything.
Keep your calendar, important emergency contacts, and maps if you use it a lot.
The rest should remain buried beneath the search function of your phone.
By forcing yourself to use the search function on your phone to type in the name of the app you’re trying to open, you’re far more likely to be making conscious decisions about what you’re doing on your phone.
This seems counter intuitive at first. Why would you strip away functionality from your phone’s perfectly good user interface?
Aren’t I wasting time searching every time I need to use an app?
And it’s true. It takes an extra five seconds or so to open Instagram, every single time. But they aren’t wasted.
These five seconds act as a barrier which protects your attention.
Five seconds is enough time to consider what your purpose for opening an app is; is there a specific reason I’m doing this, or am I burning time while avoiding another task?
It’s a buffer, a tool to help you make active choices about how you spend your time.
If this sounds like too much hasstle, try installing a screentime tracker like Flipd.
I was resistant too. But after coming face to face with the time I spent across these apps each day, five seconds stopped sounding so bad.