I was late for the smartphone game.
I used a fake Blackberry slider until 2013 or so and had no intention of switching out as my girlfriend (now wife) was still using an LG slider phone. But when her slider finally died, she decided it was time for both of us to get into smartphones. The timing worked; my dealt Blackberry, which carried me through two very dirty jobs in a pizzeria and a factory, began to break down.
A little more than a decGoodbye later, I still use an Android smartphone. I rarely have to start up a PC for anything; My life is literally rooted in my phone. From photos to passwords, I can access all of my digital and non-digital footprint through my little Nokia 2.2.
However, this type of convenience comes with some limitations. A smartphone is a gold-plated cage that we like to throw ourselves into. Any cage, no matter how pretty it is, is still a cage. No animal, no matter how distracted, will at some point succumb to the life-sapping power of captivity. Whether you’re scrolling through the news, watching useless videos, or feeding the darker emotions at your core while viewing everyone’s life spitefully through the social media filter, the smartphone cage will get you. It catches me every time.
I usually feel it in my chest first. It’s a dark, heavy feeling, not entirely depressed, but close. The best word I’ve heard to define it is “languishing”. It’s like being stuck in a hole. The rest of the world is there, but I only see it through a narrow frame. I feel removed Hidden. I know I can get out, but I can’t find the will to do it.
Outwardly, I get distracted and inattentive. By checking my screen time, I can spend four hours or more using my phone while languishing.
This is exactly where I know that I have to clean my smartphone.
The first thing you need is a feature phone that will work with your service. While finding a feature phone on the internet can be a bit daunting, most companies offer some sort of flip phone or feature phone on their website.
They’re usually between $ 50 and $ 60, or about as much as a low-end budget smartphone. While you’ll get a lot fewer features – obvious feature phones don’t have touchscreens, have limited email and internet support – the quality of the phone is vastly better.
I bought two feature phones during my cleanings. The first was the Nuu FL4 Flip and the second was the Nokia 6300 4G. Both feel higher quality than any budget smartphone I’ve ever bought.
The change can be more or less difficult depending on the mobile operator. I’ve been on Mint Mobile for almost two years. Since I bought all of my phones from their website, all I had to do was pull out my smartphone’s SIM card and insert it into the feature phone. Mint uses GSM networks. If you’re on a GSM network as well, the process should be pretty straightforward, but you should check with your carrier first before you burn any money on a phone.
Just like with feature phones of the past few decades, some apps are integrated. The big selling point of these two phones was that they had some social media apps and an email client without the smartphone price tag. It’s not a perfect solution, but – for me at least – it does the job. Using social media on a 1.5-inch screen is about as fun as you imagine, so it’s actually easier to forego it. Simplicity was the reason we started social media right? Take that away and what do you have? Hard to see pictures and lots of ads.
The weight is lifting. I feel more attentive. When I write, I really have to want it. Best of all, if I want to use Facebook or any other site, I have to be careful and find my computer to do it. Overall, I feel better than before.
Because the world expects you to be connected out of your pocket. My job requires that I have a smartphone to test our app and double-check the work.
If I was looking for a job, I had to be the first to reply to an email if I wanted the job. Businesses don’t expect your email to be at home. They expect it to be with you always.
From a social point of view, personal contact with people is a kind of status symbol on a smartphone. Feature phones make you seem out of place or deliberately quirky. If that’s your thing, it definitely is, but not everyone wants to be seen that way.
In essence, a smartphone is a beautiful button these days. A feature phone is an open Hawaiian shirt with pink flamingos. Both shirts do their job and have an audience. But not everyone wants a Hawaiian shirt, just as not everyone wants a plain shirt.
I do my smartphone cleaning about every other week. Before I log off from work, I turn off my Nokia 2.2 and swap the SIM card into either my 6300 or FL4. Only when I report to work on the following Monday do I get back into my smartphone and that is very good for me.
Not everyone will find it as fulfilling as I do and, to be honest, not everyone can afford it. Buying multiple phones can get expensive, especially if you’re stuck with a flagship phone plan.
But if you can I think you should.
Connecting is great, but also a bit of loneliness from time to time. This is a smartphone cleaning: loneliness.