Looking to completely disconnect from phone (or screen use)

Expert (Beta) 37
Posted 11th Jan
Right now I’m looking at my phone (iPhone), again, when I don’t want to be. I can’t be the only person to feel that smartphones are taking over pretty much every aspect of our lives. From the moment I get out of bed, to the moment I go back to bed, I’m looking at screens. To some extent, this can’t really be avoided, but I want to find a workable solution to getting away from using smartphones excessively. I miss the days of the BlackBerry, when I’d use the phone as it was intended, as a phone. This is an addiction I can do without, life is too short, this site (and others) probably doesn’t help matters.

I have a couple of apps that I absolutely can’t do without, certainly not without having to switch banks if I went back to using something like a Blackberry anyway, as far as I’m aware those apps do come in Android variants. I’ve thought about perhaps trying a tiny Android phone, on the basis that it’d be so unappealing to use that I’d actually put it down far more often - does anyone have any better ideas?
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rev611/01/2020 21:41

A bar of chocolate and maybe a glass of milk might distract you for a bit. …A bar of chocolate and maybe a glass of milk might distract you for a bit. Put the phone in another room though.A smartwatch or fitness band with notifications for your apps might be enough of a "fix" to keep you away from getting too engulfed in the phone. Just some thoughts.


Putting the phone in another room for a while is surprisingly liberating. Especially when you go back to it a few hours later and realise you’ve missed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I recently ditched Facebook and Twitter, and now satisfy the need to mindlessly swipe with a news feed. I really don’t miss social networking at all (I kept Messenger, to be fair), and while there’s a social element to a word game I’ve been playing for almost a decade(!), I no longer waste time looking at pictures of people’s dinner, at least.

Somewhat ironically, I probably spend most of my time browsing HUKD; there’s always a new deal, or a comment, or something I missed earlier... Stupid site
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What about the built In features where you can set an amount of time for each app so once hit you know that's enough for today. Obviously doesn't get you completely off there but will prompt you not to use it as much. Although will power needed as
You can just add extra time
Mark_LewisZ7x11/01/2020 21:35

What about the built In features where you can set an amount of time for …What about the built In features where you can set an amount of time for each app so once hit you know that's enough for today. Obviously doesn't get you completely off there but will prompt you not to use it as much. Although will power needed as You can just add extra time


Discussed those features with my other half, probably doesn’t go far enough. In previous years I’ve got rid of all Windows devices for broadly similar reasons, we only have Chromebooks in the house now.
A bar of chocolate and maybe a glass of milk might distract you for a bit. Put the phone in another room though.

A smartwatch or fitness band with notifications for your apps might be enough of a "fix" to keep you away from getting too engulfed in the phone. Just some thoughts.
Edited by: "rev6" 11th Jan
Just don’t use it as much it can’t be that bad! Modern technology in smartphones and apps are amazing but I don’t let it take over my life!
Is the phone getting the way of you doing other things?

If people get annoyed at you because you're on your phone when they're trying to talk to you, or you're doing dangerous stuff like using it while driving then they'd be signs of addiction.

If you're just using it in your idle moments then the solution to that is to find something more interesting or exciting to be doing instead.

Trying to replace something interesting (a phone) with something dull (doing nothing) is unlikely to work.
rev611/01/2020 21:41

A bar of chocolate and maybe a glass of milk might distract you for a bit. …A bar of chocolate and maybe a glass of milk might distract you for a bit. Put the phone in another room though.A smartwatch or fitness band with notifications for your apps might be enough of a "fix" to keep you away from getting too engulfed in the phone. Just some thoughts.


Putting the phone in another room for a while is surprisingly liberating. Especially when you go back to it a few hours later and realise you’ve missed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I recently ditched Facebook and Twitter, and now satisfy the need to mindlessly swipe with a news feed. I really don’t miss social networking at all (I kept Messenger, to be fair), and while there’s a social element to a word game I’ve been playing for almost a decade(!), I no longer waste time looking at pictures of people’s dinner, at least.

Somewhat ironically, I probably spend most of my time browsing HUKD; there’s always a new deal, or a comment, or something I missed earlier... Stupid site
Ironic you pose such a question via your phone?

I suppose with all addictions the problem begins with each individual. Some once they realise an unhealthy addiction can just go cold turkey and use will power alone to end it; others replace the urge with other interests; further education or hobbies or exercise running etc. or a combination of all of these.

Personally, I believe phone addiction is an epidemic. Recently my daughter had her friends over and they primarily communicated to one another via phones from across a table! (Not that I am any better).

If it was me I would begin by having an evening once a week phone free and gradually decrease the usage from there.
I actually looked into this a bit a short while back. There's an article on the New York Times website which I thought was quite interesting and had some really useful tips!

nytimes.com/201…tml

To be honest I'm not that heavy of a phone user compared to most people my age, but I still annoy myself with how often I look at it. Sometimes when I go out I choose to leave it at home and after the initial panic, it's actually quite nice when you realise you're free from having to check it!
A huge dose of self control goes a long way in these circumstances...
bobdylan11/01/2020 22:36

A huge dose of self control goes a long way in these circumstances...


Easier said than done. Removing the temptation out of sight is a lot more effective.
bozo00711/01/2020 22:39

Easier said than done. Removing the temptation out of sight is a lot more …Easier said than done. Removing the temptation out of sight is a lot more effective.


Depends how well you can control yourself I guess, if you just give in on the 1st go then yeah not so easy
Removing social media apps and if you don’t want to delete them then having to fire up the computer to view them means I spend a lot less time just being bored and scrolling.
I hear ya! I feel the same however it is this very site that keeps my scrolling. I gave up Instagram a year ago and have never looked back, I don’t have FB or twitter either. I wish I could delete WhatsApp too as I hate it when people expect you to reply straightaway as they can see you’ve read the message and all the WhatsApp groups for work and party’s etc it’s too much for me. If you are on social media I’d try and come away from those and just use your phone as a phone.
Why not back up you're apps & contacts via the cloud I think...not sure as i'm a android user. Then factory reset the phone & install the the apps your 100% need, an the keep the handset basic as anything?
Dikpic as wallpaper for a straight guy works wonders...
Edited by: "skakruk" 11th Jan
AllyOxenFree11/01/2020 22:53

I hear ya! I feel the same however it is this very site that keeps my …I hear ya! I feel the same however it is this very site that keeps my scrolling. I gave up Instagram a year ago and have never looked back, I don’t have FB or twitter either. I wish I could delete WhatsApp too as I hate it when people expect you to reply straightaway as they can see you’ve read the message and all the WhatsApp groups for work and party’s etc it’s too much for me. If you are on social media I’d try and come away from those and just use your phone as a phone.


Know a cheeky thing you can do with WhatsApp? On the iPhone anyway. You can hard press on the icon to bring up a little display that shows your four most recent contacts, and how many unread messages are in each thread. Perfect if you don’t want to get caught going online
Screen time. Lock yourself out of apps you don’t want to use or limit the time
Edited by: "Zero.Chill" 11th Jan
I rarely take my phone when I go out to a pub or visit a friend or family. Stops any temptation. Don't miss it at all.

A funeral I attended this week a phone went off inside the church twice! Fricking outrageous.
EndlessWaves11/01/2020 21:52

Is the phone getting the way of you doing other things?If people get …Is the phone getting the way of you doing other things?If people get annoyed at you because you're on your phone when they're trying to talk to you, or you're doing dangerous stuff like using it while driving then they'd be signs of addiction.If you're just using it in your idle moments then the solution to that is to find something more interesting or exciting to be doing instead.Trying to replace something interesting (a phone) with something dull (doing nothing) is unlikely to work.


It’s not getting in the way of my work or resulting in me doing anything dangerous, or anything else like that, I’m just overly conscious of looking at screens all the live long day in some shape or form.

These phones are probably one of the best and worst things ever created.
michaeldvi11/01/2020 22:14

Ironic you pose such a question via your phone?I suppose with all …Ironic you pose such a question via your phone?I suppose with all addictions the problem begins with each individual. Some once they realise an unhealthy addiction can just go cold turkey and use will power alone to end it; others replace the urge with other interests; further education or hobbies or exercise running etc. or a combination of all of these.Personally, I believe phone addiction is an epidemic. Recently my daughter had her friends over and they primarily communicated to one another via phones from across a table! (Not that I am any better).If it was me I would begin by having an evening once a week phone free and gradually decrease the usage from there.


Strangely enough, this all came about when my partner and I went for a meal recently and practically all the young kids were sat around communicating with each other by phone - it was a bit of a ‘are we that bad?’ moment.
xenophon11/01/2020 23:50

I rarely take my phone when I go out to a pub or visit a friend or family. …I rarely take my phone when I go out to a pub or visit a friend or family. Stops any temptation. Don't miss it at all. A funeral I attended this week a phone went off inside the church twice! Fricking outrageous.


See don’t get me wrong, I’d find that highly offensive too.
AllyOxenFree11/01/2020 22:53

I hear ya! I feel the same however it is this very site that keeps my …I hear ya! I feel the same however it is this very site that keeps my scrolling. I gave up Instagram a year ago and have never looked back, I don’t have FB or twitter either. I wish I could delete WhatsApp too as I hate it when people expect you to reply straightaway as they can see you’ve read the message and all the WhatsApp groups for work and party’s etc it’s too much for me. If you are on social media I’d try and come away from those and just use your phone as a phone.


See I don’t use WhatsApp and rarely use Facebook anymore. I’m not on Instagram or MySpace (is that still a thing?) or anything so I’m not sure where the time actually goes.

It’s not affecting my relationship or anything like that, we are probably both guilty of it, I guess I just want to go back to a world where a phone is a phone.
Edited by: "joeydeacon" 12th Jan
ThugBasher11/01/2020 22:58

Why not back up you're apps & contacts via the cloud I think...not sure as …Why not back up you're apps & contacts via the cloud I think...not sure as i'm a android user. Then factory reset the phone & install the the apps your 100% need, an the keep the handset basic as anything?


That might well be a good place to start, cheers
Delete (or temporarily disable) your Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter accounts. Remove yourself from any Whataspp group messages unless they are absolutely essential. Delete all the games from your phone, etc. It can be very refreshing to remove all these distractions from your phone so you don’t feel like you have to keep grabbing it to check it or interact all the time.
EndlessWaves11/01/2020 21:52

Is the phone getting the way of you doing other things?If people get …Is the phone getting the way of you doing other things?If people get annoyed at you because you're on your phone when they're trying to talk to you, or you're doing dangerous stuff like using it while driving then they'd be signs of addiction.If you're just using it in your idle moments then the solution to that is to find something more interesting or exciting to be doing instead.Trying to replace something interesting (a phone) with something dull (doing nothing) is unlikely to work.


Good point.

On the days I'm very busy I have 25% of battery left at the end of the day and that's a sign I've been too busy to look at my phone.

The days I'm less busy I have to charge the phone in the evening. Which means I've been doing lazy browsing.

So yes. Replacing those idle moments with something constructive or interesting is something that would definitely work towards the goal of spending less time on the phone.
Edited by: "notalwaysright19" 12th Jan
Best way is post it to my address in Nigeria and have a phone free month and as soon as you need it back I can post it back , promise! Is it the 11 pro by the way.
watch 100 great British walks by Julia Bradbury
start at 100 work your way down every weekend use the local pubs take your family forget about holidays aboard when your at number 3 pop in to the lister arms at malham and ask the baker for a pint
see you in 2 years bud
Get a phone, use it as a phone & text only, ..use a kindle / similar for the rest, sheer size will slow you down & help ween you off.
I have not used social media in a few years, I never really liked using it but felt pressured into keeping it going by friends and family. Anytime I tried quitting I was always talked back into using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc again.
I eventually took the excuse away, got rid of my smartphone, got a cheap non smart handset with a new number and gave it to all my "friends" letting them know it wasn't smart. It was amazing how well that thinned out my "friends" more than anything else. When I stopped liking some stopped talking. I didn't miss them at all.
The thing was I did have a smartphone, only nobody to begin with knew that number. I used it for banking, checking the weather, browsing the odd deal, watching the odd video. Things that were entertaining to me, or were part of everyday life (like banking, keeping appointments etc). I didn't spend all day with it buzzing at me with the latest update of complete drivel.
I do now have my real friends in my phonebook on my smartphone, and they don't ask me to sign up for any of the social media sites, they are happy calling me for a chat.
I'm also happy to have a smartphone without the reasons most people have or feel obliged to sit with constantly looking at pictures, liking the latest selfie that looks like yesterdays with a different top on, or reading the latest "riveting" comments from friends you don't really know.
Smartphones are excellent things, leaving social media behind was something I needed to do I'm not saying everyone should but if you are feeling the way you are op, I'd recommend doing what I did. You will stop looking at your phone like you hate it every time it makes a noise.
joeydeacon12/01/2020 00:14

See I don’t use WhatsApp and rarely use Facebook anymore. I’m not on Ins …See I don’t use WhatsApp and rarely use Facebook anymore. I’m not on Instagram or MySpace (is that still a thing?) or anything so I’m not sure where the time actually goes.It’s not affecting my relationship or anything like that, we are probably both guilty of it, I guess I just want to go back to a world where a phone is a phone.



why don’t you tackle the problem head on and actually buy yourself a ‘just a phone’ phone. A pain to text and browse, like one of those re-released nokia 3310’s. Then your phone is just a phone and you won’t want to sit browsing because it’s hard work.
joeydeacon12/01/2020 00:14

See I don’t use WhatsApp and rarely use Facebook anymore. I’m not on Ins …See I don’t use WhatsApp and rarely use Facebook anymore. I’m not on Instagram or MySpace (is that still a thing?) or anything so I’m not sure where the time actually goes.It’s not affecting my relationship or anything like that, we are probably both guilty of it, I guess I just want to go back to a world where a phone is a phone.


The only true way to use it as a phone is to get a Nokia I guess
On most modern phones you can set more than one "profile/user"
Both profiles use their own separated space so you wont get any notifications from the user or profile that is not logged in.
Keep your current one with every tom dick and harry for your spare time and occasional browsing and one for all other times.
Your "friends" will probably start to thin out when you don't answer their messsages immediately and eventually you will be able to just stay logged into the important person profile.You can even have 2 separate whatsapp numbers (if that's your weakness) so have one for family and one for everyone else. No dissapointments when people see you're online and haven't replied to their messages.
Edited by: "Dembe" 12th Jan
Are you thinking of quitting hukd?
JumpMan198012/01/2020 09:17

Are you thinking of quitting hukd?


Not really but I do find myself aimlessly looking for deals sometimes and I don’t think it’s a particularly healthy to be doing that
skakruk11/01/2020 22:58

Dikpic as wallpaper for a straight guy works wonders...


You could try just not using it.

And if you are unable to do that, possible start therapy for an issue which as an adult you are struggling to control. This is a form of mental illness which you should confront and tackle.

I wish you well.
livingwellspendingless.com/dec…ne/

open.spotify.com/epi…exQ

Check out this podcast - The Minimalists. Two yanks who cover this issue amongst others.

Wack it on airplane mode for an hour a evening then go from there. Turn notifications off on certain social media apps etc or even stick the phone on greyscale so it’s less tempting to look at.
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