Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to be in Control of Your Smart Phone

File:IPhone 5.png
Back in April I became one of the last people on the planet to upgrade to a smart phone. I was afraid for a lot of reasons to take the plunge. But my main two were 1) constantly hearing others bemoan how their smart phones had taken over their lives and 2) recognizing the realities of my propensity toward an addictive personality.

It's been a few months now and I can honestly say I could live with out my phone. Yes, it's true, I could go back to dumb (phone that is). If you're wondering how that's possible then I'll share my secrets:

How to Keep Your Smart Phone from Running Your Life:
  • Evaluate wants and needs: Before I made the big switch I evaluated what I wanted and needed from my phone. I wanted to make use of photography apps, simplify my banking and get more organized.
  • Decide what you don't want: I did not want to be tethered to me phone. So for the most part I do not use my phone for social media or checking email  (the major exception is when I traveling for work) and I do not read on my phone (same exception as above).
  • Decide how much to spend: I did not want to spend my life savings on my phone bill so I have a limited data plan. This also helps with limiting my phone usage. 
  • Don't carry it all the time: Leave your phone on your desk during lunch. Keep it on vibrate most of the time. Put it away when chatting with friends, etc. 
  • Reevaluate and delete often: I'm regularly thinking of ways I can make my phone work for me instead of the other way around. If I find an app that genuinely adds value to my life (and it's affordable) I get it. But I also don't add apps on a whim even if they're free and I strive to regularly clean up my phone and delete the unneeded.
These are just a few of the strategies I have for making my smart phone work for me and not letting it become an extra appendage. I know these ideas aren't practical for everyone but you are in control of your phone and your life. There are always ways to limit your usage to live the life you want to live.

Do you have any strategies for disconnecting from you smart phone? I'd love to hear your tip in the comments below.


  1. I'm pretty addicted to mine, but follow these two rules religiously: 1) No email and 2) I will not answer for work relationships before 8 am or after 5 pm. Period. It trains people not to call at all hours.

    P.S. Beyond the time-suck, their is a lot of danger to our bodies in keeping a phone on our person all the time (ex. rise of infertility in men who carry the phone in their pockets, etc) and so leaving it across the room or in a drawer when you can is important for HEALTH as well as sanity.

    1. Renia, I love you 8:00-5:00 rule. Lots of people would be healthier and happier if they followed that one. Good point also on the health concerns.