Eliminating phone stress

September 05, 2018

If you have a Facebook account, you’re likely spending at least 41 minutes per day using their service. Add that with the time you spend on other sites, texting people, and using apps like Snapchat and Twitter, and it adds up to… quite a lot.

According to Google’s app Digital Wellbeing, I used to spend about 2.5 hours per day on my phone. But now, I spend less than 30 minutes each day.

Of these 30 minutes, less than 5 are spent on social media. The rest is spent writing ideas for blog posts, texting friends and family, and using utilities like Maps and Calculator.

Since installing Digital Wellbeing, I’ve mainly been surprised at two things: 1. a decrease in anxiety, and 2. that I’m much more productive.

I didn’t realize my phone was stressing me out. It was 11 PM when I first configured the app, and the color faded from my screen and illuminated the room in a dull amber glow. I felt like I did as a child – before I had a phone or any technology for that matter.

I love that the world is now connected, but I want to separate myself from time to time. I want to live my own life without constant reminders of others. And this is hard when we’re being pestered with notifications from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. According to Digital Wellbeing, I’d receive nearly 200 notifications per day and unlock my phone about 100 times. The app has decreased these by a little less than half.

I’m also more productive. Not only has Digital Wellbeing given me back 1.5 hours per day, but it also helps me stay in a flow state while I’m working which has doubled my productivity on certain days. Simply put, I can spend less time working and get more done.

In addition to Digital Wellbeing, I also wrote a small Chrome extension that completely blocks social media on my computer. Now, I can only access social media on my phone for an allotted amount of time per day: I set mine to 5 minutes per app.

You can install Digital Wellbeing on any Android device running Pie 9.0 or higher. Once it’s installed, you can find it near the bottom of the main screen on your Settings app. If you have an iPhone, their app Screen Time will help you achieve a similar result.