Imagine a new iphone that focuses on minimalism: the iphone air
# The Smartphone is ruining my life.
The other day, I wrote down all of the different ways I use and get distracted by my phone and was absolutely horrified at the realization of how badly it consumes my life, productivity and mental health.
There is no way to block yourself from using apps, I’ve tried everything: screen time, content restrictions, focus apps, there‘s always a way to get around it, a backdoor for impulsivity.
I don ‘t think all apps are bad, but these days, there are a few that just seemed to be designed to be addictive. Even when not on those apps, the world in the palm of your hands simply just makes it too easy for you to find a way to easily distract yourself.
Aside from cognitive behavioural therapy, I’d like to suggest an idea: **the iphone air**
An extremely thin iphone with a focus on minimalism. It would run on the most efficient specs, enough to power basic apps. Yes that’s right, this phone won’t have an app store, or will have a new app store called the air store. Air apps have a very strict requirement, they cannot be anything other than a tool or platform for a service or functionality. So like google maps, email, uber, dropbox, online banking and like a dictionary apps are allowed, but no facebook, instagram, youtube, games or even internet browser, etc.
Yup, that’s right. No internet browser. Absolutely nothing that can act as a portal to infinite distractions. The browser will only exist within an app, so like when clicking on a link in an email.
If you want to look something up and you can’t look it up through specific air apps, well then too bad, just save it in your notes or to-do list to look up later on.
**But why not just get a flip phone or low tier smartphone?**
Well, basically because I don’t want to compromise on the camera. I am currently practicing leaving my phone at home when I go to the library and study and the one thing I absolutely can’t get over is how I can’t quickly snap pictures when I need to (check out my idiosyncratic ’iphone only’ work on instagram @ dullclimate ) and I don’t want to carry a digital camera with me, I like the experience of taking pictures on a phone and being able to work on them, edit them and export them right away. The cameras on high end smartphones are great as well, so I really don’t want to miss out on them.
So imagine this new iphone, thinner than the iphone SE, restricted to only essential apps, long battery life since it’s low power and doesn’t use battery draining apps. No more losing your day on the internet, getting distracted by reddit, articles online, internet arguments, youtube suggestions blackhole, stalking people‘s profile online, checking your notifications, no more constantly watching and comparing yourself to others on on social media platforms and feeling bad about yourself, no more swiping mindlessly on dating apps, no more feeling guilty about having a million different unread messages because you’re not in the mood to respond, no more games and micro-transactions, no more extended poop sessions, NO MORE ADS —— AND MORE LIFE!
I want to go back to a life where I carry around a magazine to read when I expect downtime. I want to go back to a life where people don’t expect me to be reachable at all times during the day. I want to return to a life where I spend more time looking up instead of down. I want to go back to a life where I spend more time on my hobbies and being creative, instead of the internet when I’m bored.
The smartphone can just do so much, it’s simply become too powerful and the cons are starting to outweigh the good.
You can still stay connected via calls, texting, newsletters sent to your email, news alerts in the form of headlines and etc. on the iphone air, but the rest will only bother you when you allow yourself to be bothered.What I mean by this is how I recently came across a funny tweet that said:
”Remember how we used to say BRB? We don’t say it anymore because now we live on the internet”
Yikes.We’re going to hit a breaking point, a smart phone fatigue. I’ve always been hooked the technology and the internet, but it’s getting way out of hands for my even my taste.
**My suggestion simply acts as a middle-ground between smartphone and no smartphone at all!**
Now of course, this isn’t ideal since apple makes a ton of money off of the app store, but listen, I have an ipad, a macbook pro, apple tv, I will still be downloading and using apps, just less frequently. But at least you save me from having a mental breakdown a simply abandoning everything all together.
Also, maybe having less apps means that your other apps will get more attention? Maybe i’ll listen to music more since I can’t do much else and so i’ll subscribe to apple music? Maybe if I do want to occasionally watch stuff on my phone I’ll be restricted to itunes and have to rent/purchase media? Maybe the apps that are typically free in the app store, will cost money in the air store, so that you only get the apps you REALLY need. Maybe since I don‘t use facebook as much, I’ll start using the social components of the Apple Photos more, thus be more invested in icloud and the ecosystem?
**One thing’s for sure: it’ll be the perfect phone for kids.**
I remember when I got my first ipod touch in high school, discovering that someone had uploaded every episodes of Friends on youtube (my taste was unrefined back then, don‘t judge me I was just a teen), after getting yelled at my parents to get off the computer and go to bed, I would spend my nights watching Friends in bed, it was at this point that I was in pure awe of the iphone/ipod touch product, how could such a small and thin device offer the world to me, but also this was the beginning of the end for me.
If I have a kid, I don’t want them to not have a smartphone, but I also don’t want them to be able to stay connected/hooked at night like I did. My little sister, 11 years of difference, this is a current issue with her that my parents are dealing with, they catch her on her phone instead of sleeping at night all the time. I had to step in and set scheduled wifi restrictions, but she can still use her data and it’s annoying to have to manage for my parents.
Anyway, my point is that we need to seriously reconsider our relationship to our smartphones. **I know that this isn’t an issue for everyone**, but for some of us who aren’t as cool and responsible, this would really help and I’d pay good money for it, in the hopes of a healthier lifestyle and relationship to my phone.
Either that or please apple just give me the ability to block myself from using certain apps and visiting certain websites, like in blocks of time that can’t be overturned! I use self-control on my computer and it works so well! Please just let me do the same on my phone! I’ve already started leaving my phone at home, my only other real option is to get an android phone that enables stricter content restrictions, but I would really really really prefer to not go down that route as I’m already fully immersed in the apple eco system and been in it for over a decade.
Please Apple, hear my plea!Until you invent the Apple iLife, I’d like to get my original one back in the meantime, please!
Thanks for reading.
And for those who’re tone deaf, this was written in a playful tone, in good humour, and just acts as an exploration of a naive idea.
For full transparency, I have ADHD, but listen, there a lot of us out there and would absolutely benefit from this. The reddit ADHD sub has over 600k members. Even some people without ADHD would prob like this, I‘ve seen a lot of my friends voice the same concern regarding their smartphone usage and also entertain getting a flip phone or old school sliding keyboard phone.