How to use your iPhone less

This is just one thing that I’ve noticed ever since my FaceID stopped working. It stopped working after using my iPhone for less than 30minutes while it’s raining and got a bit chilly in Fuji Rock a few months ago. Ever since then, it stopped working and won’t let me add a new face or even re-set up. I tried re-installing iOS and starting new but it’s still won’t work. My front-facing camera still works perfectly.

Anyway, back to the topic. Since then, I only use my 6 digit passcode to open my iPhone. At first, it was troublesome but I noticed that if I don’t really need to open my phone, I no longer do. So, my phone usage got even smaller. And since I’ve also reduced my notifications ever since I have an Apple Watch, I think I only interacted with my phone at least 1-2 hours a day.

Turning off your FaceID or TouchID might help you access or open your phone less. Works for me so far. Might bring it to an Apple Reseller next month and see if it will be replaced under warranty for free. But if not, I’m not willing to spend at least $400 for a replacement. Anyway, this set up is working perfectly for me as I use my phone less.

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Interesting, I’m starting to use DND and Airplane mode when I can instead. It works well for me.

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One thing I am trying out is turning off raise to wake on my iPhone XS. The phone won’t light up and grab my attention even when I am just moving it and not meaning to use it.

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that’s a good way to lessen checking the my phone too.

I deleted a lot of social media apps off the phone. No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit. Also deleted a few news apps, and kept only one.

Of course, I could use Safari in a pinch, but I find I don’t unless I actually need to.

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I actually don’t have facebook app on my phone either. I quit twitter about a year ago and I’m running my projects on Instagram so that’s the only thing left. I don’t have any social media apps on my iPad either so I can focus on work stuff on my iPad Pro.

Yeah, using Safari makes logging in to social media sites feel like a hassle.

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I started doing this as well, after reading Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. I didn’t quit using all social media apps as he suggests, just the devices that I access them from. The benefit was immediate: some apps (Reddit and Instagram) were less fun to use on their iPad counterpart, and became absolutely boring when accessed from the Mac. So there’s something about the app builds for smartphones that makes them extremely addictive and once I could see and feel that difference, I became very wary of adding anything like them to my iPhone ever again.

Sure enough, my screen time dropped immediately, I spent more time reading books and PDFs on my devices, and the number of pickups dropped dramatically.

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The cellular watch has been helpful for me. I chose that solution because I can’t avoid texts and calls as part of work, but there’s just…nothing to do on it besides that. I can’t source it but I’ve read that just being in the presence of one’s phone is distracting; when it’s at home and I’m not, the certainty that the phone is unavailable commits me entirely to doing something else. I don’t rely on the watch 24/7, just 4-8 hour stretches, mostly leaving it at home while I’m at work or out at night.

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I did a complete social media purge a few years ago. Quit Facebook, Twitter, deleted my reddit account, killed third party chat app accounts (WhatsApp etc).

It may be more drastic than most people feel able to do, but I keep in regular contact with friends through iMessage and SMS (email for those couple of android using overseas friends). I haven’t lost out on anything.

In fact, it’s been an opportunity to write some long form emails which has been really enjoyable.

I also have no games installed on my iPhone. I’ve never found gaming on the small screen (even on the larger phones) to be a positive experience. I have a few on my iPad that I can sit and play on the sofa.

I feel like the iPhone is not the problem; it’s just a symptom. And making the iPhone less convenient is really just a way to try and dissuade the bad behaviour without really addressing it. If you aren’t happy with your use patterns, address the source. Trying to make those use patterns less appealing while leaving the cause in place is not a healthy long term solution.

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Yes you are correct. But I see it as a way of “quitting smoking”. It’s hard to quit smoking so making things inconvenient work as it forced me to use my phone less.

I’ve also removed games on my iPhone just to remove the “will play a few games while I wait”. I scheduled game time by having it on my iPad instead. Now, I was able to exchange my old behaviour (checking on my phone constantly) to being mindful and use my “bored time” for reflection.

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  • Deleted all social media accounts, except LinkedIn
  • No LinkedIn on iOS
  • No Email on iOS
  • Screen Time to disable Safari and App Store (yes, I was getting desperate for a distraction so I started browsing the App Store - dangerous!), and to disallow all websites (to stop 1Password web browser).
  • Generate random Screen Time password, save in 1Password, change once per week (to create maximum friction for myself).
  • Delete apps from iPhone and iPad that I use once per week or less (since I’m on my Mac at least once per week).
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whoah that’s quite extreme but I understand how even the App Store can be a random distraction just to have something to fiddle on your phone.

Wow, now that’s what I call lockdown!

Unfortunately Shortcuts doesn’t appear to have an action for determining the last date that a given app was opened… or even a list of apps installed on the device!

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He’s right that Airpods make it a lot easier to avoid pickups while listening to something. I’m enjoying this transition period before we can’t avoid being able to browse Safari via NeuralLink. :wink:

I go old school. If I am not doing something that requires my phone (or rather, I don’t want to be tempted), it goes to another room.

A lot of his suggestions are too extreme. There’s a point where you should just buy a Nokia 3210 instead of buying a computer and conspiring with yourself to cripple it because you don’t trust yourself enough to use it responsibly.

But there’s some very practical stuff in there as well.

Indeed. I most agree with shifting use to Watch and Airpods and not adding personal iCloud account to work computers. The only interface I allow myself between my personal and work life is an iMessage chat between the two accounts. That’s been really good for me. That’s nearly it, though. I suppose I also don’t have any major social apps installed other than Slack where nearly every channel is muted, but I check Discourse forums plenty, so…