How I turned my iPhone into a dumb phone

A boring iPhone is still a very useful phone

Hi there,

How do you fight against a multi-billion dollar attention economy deliberately designed to hijack your attention and time? You treat yourself like a child and use parental control features to opt out. Adulting is not easy.

Below are five things I thought were worth sharing this week:

  1. Understanding digital tools don’t cause digital addiction is one thing. The attention economy is a whole other beast. There is not enough willpower in the world to successfully steer away from the constant instant gratification and distraction our smartphones provide us. We need aggressive solutions to take back control of our precious time and attention. Here’s how I turned my iPhone into a dumb phone (read: how I made iPhone soooo boring, but useful).

  2. Currently reading Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil. Big Data is watching: Algorithms have infiltrated all areas of life, from advertising and education, to insurance and policing while remaining opaque, unregulated, and difficult to contest under the guise of objective mathematical facts. They are anything but that; padded with human subjectivity, assumptions, and biases, they are a “toxic cocktail for democracy” and inequality.

  3. Operation dumb phone is a 10-min video with 12 practical and actionable tips to turn your smartphone into a dumb phone. Instead of getting rid of your smartphone, you can make it a little less smart so you can focus on quality relationships over quantity, connection over content and creating over consuming. Bonus: It features an adorable tiny baby plotting to escape.

  4. A quote I want to share with you this week: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives” by Annie Dillard. Nobody ever said, I wish I spent more time on my phone.

  5. Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? The arrival of the smartphone has radically transformed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from their social interactions to their mental well-being. All young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household feel the havoc social media and smartphones have caused on their lives. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone; dating less, hanging out less, sleeping less, while feeling more and more isolated and lonely.

That’s all for this week!

Thank you for reading, and please share with anyone you think may benefit.

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Until next week… :-)

Mehret


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