How to build a Healthy Relationship with your smartphone- 3 Power-Ups toward Digital Minimalism

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Digital Minimalism is not a point in time, but rather a ray that you walk consistently on to reap the benefits for a more fulfilling life.

However, there is no touchdown on a helipad to this way of life.

Digital Minimalism refers to the art and practice of implementing the minimalist lifestyle to your digital media consumption habits. Here are 3 Power-Ups that bridge the distance between your current digital living and the way of Digital Minimalism.

01. Leveraging the Focus Mode

Focus is the second most valuable digital currency after attention.

Photo by Elijah Fox on Unsplash

Everyone wants your attention and wants you to focus on their content. Not a bad thing at all. This attention and focus can be spent on news, upskilling, entertainment, information, purchase decisions, etc. However, where and in what quantity it is poured should be under individual control and only minimally poured via nudges and notifications.

Leveraging a tool like the focus mode brings front and center the stillness of the countryside to your digital life- allowing you to pay attention to things that truly matter at a given point in time. But attention is not enough by itself. Accompanied with an end goal in sight, the task at hand requires targeted, interruption-free focus for maximizing the value you can get out of your time.

Focus Mode allows you to distant yourself from attention brownies that dole out dopamine to keep you hooked. Pick the distractions you need, not the ones you want.

02. Activate Monochrome Mode

Monochrome or Greyscale is the Kryptonite to Blue Light and its damaging power.

But isn’t the joy of life in colors and the artistic expression of everything just a drop of color can do in the vast nothingness? Perhaps.

But you can bring a splash of color into your life, and have a half-inch wider smile after activating Monochrome mode.

With greyscale comes reduced battery consumption and reading comfort for those who are colorblind.

The trophy reason, however, is that it can kill(or at least pacify) your appetite for digital dopamine. I am not the Riddler but I got one for you:

What is black and white, old as the word spittoon, and a poster boy for dullness?

A Newspaper.

With the introduction of color into print and media, the dullness of newspapers became apparent. Even with mailing flyers and promotional coupons adding some color, the reading experience of the traditional newspaper remains tardy. Most individuals comparatively prefer the digital versions of their favorite reading source, with images and illustrations adding to an enhanced user experience.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is something like Candy Crush. Full of bright colors, micro-interactions, reduced cognitive fatigue and just rewarding enough to keep coming back for more.

Which of the two- a traditional newspaper or Candy Crush, keeps you invested longer? You already know it!

Extrapolating the psychology behind making digital platforms addicting, the old tricks of the trade can make Digital Minimalism easier to integrate in our day-to-day lives.

Former Google digital ethicist, Tristan Harris brought to the limelight how technology is designed to be addictive and the role color plays in dopamine hits.

Colorful icons give our brains shiny rewards every time we unlock them. Setting the phone to greyscale removes those positive reinforcements.

O3. Siri-ously, Use Search

Default launchers on iOS and Android are exceptionally well set up to keep the user tapping, scrolling and swiping. It is way too easy to access a multitude of apps- even the ones that are not required to be accessed on a day to day or even week to week basis.

Leveraging the power of assistants can make your phone User Interface(UI) search powered. With the help of Siri and Google Assistant, you can simply ask for the app to be opened, call to be made, task to be executed, reducing the temptations of opening and doom scrolling through time-consuming apps.

If voice commands are not your thing, simply placing the web search bar or using the phone’s universal search functionality should empower you to remove apps away from sight. Out of Sight, Out of Mind could be a powerful minimalism practice when it comes to setting up interactions with your mobile device.

Search is better with these

Minimalist Launcher Olauncher | Source: Archive.org

Olauncher and sister products display only a handful of apps on the screen, with everything else hidden behind a search- removing the unintended and mindless app browsing, and thus closing the door to doom scrolling and the guilt-trip that thereafter follows.

Ratio Launcher | Source: Ratio Play Store

Ratio is your expert help in setting up an authentically intuitive, tactfully organized home screen. With the handy search towards the bottom of the homepage, Ratio makes everything else accessible that does not warrant the home screen spot.

Key Takeaways

Digital Minimalism is freeing. With the lines quickly blurring between real and digital spaces, the art and science of minimalism can help you overcome overwhelm, charge you out of negative effects of extractive technology and help you spend your time wisely.

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