It seems like the majority of people are addicted to their phones, and the more apps they have the better. However, something remarkable happened when I removed apps from my phone that I didn’t need. Most of them where on there due to being what other people recommended or consistently wanting to “stay in the know” regardless of where I was.
While I know that the amount of apps I had to keep me addicted to my phone is nothing compared to other people. But it is not about comparison of how many apps we have. It is about how the access to these things deprives us of so much that we don’t realize because we don’t take the time to look up and smell the roses.
Since removing all these apps from my phone, I am able to remember what life was like before smartphones existed. I still cannot believe that only 10 years ago the majority of people did not have smartphones.
During my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge, I removed apps from my phone that I wasn’t using, and it felt amazing! I consolidated my remaining apps into categories such as, Be Social, $$$, Save $$$, and Apps! [the apps you are required to have and cannot remove]. I had a total of 15 icons on my home screen.
I remember feeling so accomplished by being able to reduce my icons with removing an entire row of icons! However, I still felt trapped with my phone. I was constantly checking to see if someone liked my Instagram photo, if there was a comment on my blog, or if there were any important emails I needed to check.
I decided enough is enough! I simplified my phone to be able to gain space away from my phone, not get more anxious about checking it. So this past week, I simplified my phone even more, by removing my email app and relocated a few apps!
I was so nervous to make this change, because of my blog; but I made the change anyways. So what does my phone look like now?
I removed my Outlook App altogether. It had my personal and blog email set up and it was too much for me to always check. I relocated my Safari and Pandora Apps, and removed 5 apps from my Be Social! icon: Bloglovin, Goodreads, Layouts (by Instagram), WordPress, and Twitter. None of these brought anything to the table, as far as for accessing from my phone. I also removed 3 apps from my Save $$$: Shopkick, SavingStar, and Swagbucks. I did not use these apps to their full potential, and they were only taking up space.
I also decided to give my group apps icons instead of words, and have only my Phone App at the bottom; because [to me] it simplifies my phone that much more.
So what happened when I removed apps from my phone I didn’t need?
I stopped checking my phone as often. // A result to not having as much to check, I have not checked my phone as often. I do not have notifications going off, unless for phone calls or text messages. There is less interruption during my day, and a peace of mind that comes with it.
It is no longer an additional body part. // I used to have my phone on me at all times. However, since removing these apps that created that need to have my phone, I have found myself leaving it by my bed for most of the day on the weekends, or in my purse while at work. I usually only have my phone in front of me if I am needing it to talk, text, take pictures, or occasionally check up on Instagram.
I have realized a smart phone is a privilege. // Ten years ago, I had a Motorola Razor [best phone ever invented!]. I did not have internet and I certainly did not have a quality camera on that phone. So why have I felt these things are a necessity now? Well, they are definitely not! Yes, I really enjoy sharing my pictures on Instagram and Facebook, and I do not plan on changing to a phone without internet. It is a privilege that I chose to have!
I do not feel bad for not responding immediately to something. // If something happens on one of my social media accounts, I do not have to respond immediately. It will be there when I have the allotted time. Plus, the person that commented on something does not expect me to reply immediately. Sure there are times when it is convenient to reply right away, but more times than not, it can wait! My rule of thumb is to respond within 24 hours when it is social media, and hopefully no more than 2 days when it pertains to my blog.
I live more in the present. // I have always tried my best not to have my phone in between a conversation with a real person. It takes away from the present moment when trying to multitask the two. It is also inconsiderate of the person or people in front of you who care about you enough to crave your full attention. I will be honest and say sometimes I am not successful, but it is something I have worked very hard to change. So far, I really enjoy not having something to distract me when I am accompanied by someone.
Do you struggle with any of this? What would happen if you removed the apps that distracted your everyday life?
I challenge you to see how far you can go with simplifying your phone! Let me know in the comments what you think you can remove, and if you have already removed the apps that distract you, how do you like it?