Reducing Mobile usage- My Story
Disclaimer: I use iPhone and some advice may not be applicable to other devices running on other mobile operating system than iOS
First step is to measure, how much mobile usage I do as of today. In iPhone settings I went to to “battery” and then and found an average I spend 9.4 hours on mobile. Too much from any standard.
A further break-up of time which mobile application I am wasting my time on, I share my screenshot of mobile below:
Data is based on my time spent in last 10 days. WeChat and Whatsapp being the biggest culprit. I use WeChat to communicate with my girl friend, and that is obviously taking a lot time. Whatsapp has become a normal communication app for both family and business purposes. .
Earlier, I spend a lot of time on social media apps, and none of them appear now, and those times are now been devoted to talking with my girl friend and family. Though mobile usage has not gone down, the time spend usage has changed, as now more time with family and friends than wasting on unmindful social media browsing. I am a much happy person now, and my personal and professional relationship and communication has now significantly improved.
It was not the same always, unless I used the technology itself to limit the unmindful use of technology and channelized the use towards the positive use of technology.
So how did I get rid of my social media usage? I had a habit of new binging and my time spend are mostly on linked-in, Twitter and news channels. Besides I also waste my time opening now and then the news website (timesofindia.com) and my gmail account. I has habit of watching explict video when alone at home, and also using various applications like: facebook, instagram, twitter, youtube, facebook messenger. I took below steps to create hurdle for bad habit and reduce my time on these apps:
I deleted apps for all these, but due to free internet, I downloaded everytime I needed it back, this did not work.
So, I must create another level of hurdle, putting a password requirement for every new app download, but somehow it did not work as the setting in iPhone is that it does not ask for the password for those apps, which were downloaded on the iPhone earlier, and downloads them automatically.
I went through this cycle of Installation, deletion, and re-installation several times and nothing worked.
Once I was listening to the book “The Atomic Habit” where I learnt I have to experiment with my systems, to make it more difficult, and invisible.
I searched on internet and tried to find what kind of settings I can put so that I am not tempted to use these websites. I went to screen time in settings and following options appeared:
I tried all one by one, nothing worked for me as there is always way to surpass all the setting through the passcode and extend the time used on the app, like watching video or browsing website, even you know the time is up, and pop-up comes from screen, then you just extend.
Then I go to the last option, content and privacy restriction.
What actually worked:
Setting: “Installing apps not allowed” made the trick, this made my App store disappear from my apps, and I can not install any new app, so no installation of facebook, instagram, twitter etc.
Questin one may ask but this can also be bypassed, yes it can be. But once the appstore is invisible, to make it visible itself takes 3–4 layers of deep settings to bypass and and once made, its painful to go there every time. and besides what is invisible, does not bring your attention too.
So this way, I was able to ward off my download-delete-redownload cycle.
Problem did not end here
I started opening these apps through the web-browser, as most of the apps also has website version. .
Now to make that difficult, I went to content restriction, web-content and put the above websites in the list of not-allowed websites.
Some people might say, off, the above are not useful or applicable to them. For them, they can use the above setting to the phone they give to their child. They might need to be monitored on how much time their child spend on phone, and you need to know these settings exist in the phone, which you can learn to tailor / filter the web and social media content and privacy of yourself or your child.
hope above helps. Feel free to reach me or write your comments if you find the above of any use.