One of the best things about summertime in Colorado (do you agree?) is getting outdoors and letting our lives be as opposite of 'digital' as possible.  Nowadays, though, we can realistically hope to balance our lives between attention to our phones and things around us; and therein lies a line that's all too easy to cross, right?  It's not terribly unusual for me to miss something cool when we're sitting outside somewhere, e.g. dining on a patio, because I was looking at something on my silly phone.

 

Just one solution:  Here's Conan O'Brien's spoof for a commercial for an iPhone that's just a hunk of metal in the shape of a phone.  

Now, some more practical stuff.

Apple announced a new feature called "Digital Health" this week that's designed to keep us from getting too addicted to our phones.  It lets you do things like track usage, and limit how long you can use specific apps.

That's right:  The world's second largest seller OF CELL PHONES wants us to take their advice on limiting our usage, of cell phones.  Obviously they don't want it to work TOO well.  Still, these things seem to hold water, so take a look. 

 

1.  Turn off some of your notifications.  Just reducing the number of dings and alerts that pop up on your screen can help a lot.  Besides, do I really need an interruption every time someone I barely know posts on Linkedin, or Panda Pop updates its game interface?  Nope, phone calls, texts, and sometimes work emails... is enough for me by far. 

 

2.  Be mindful about scrolling.  I notice it's like staring into the fridge endlessly, hoping something delicious will suddenly become obvious, in a place you've already scanned thoroughly.  Chances are, if you don't see something that enriches your life after a minute or so, it ain't gonna happen!  And it's so easy to lose track of time just mindlessly scrolling.

  

3.  Don't get sucked in by using apps for everything.  I still carry a pad and pen with me to take notes and keep track of my day.  But, I also use the Cozi calendar app to manage my week.  The key is not relying on our phones for everything, and keeping some stuff old school.  It keeps us versatile and at least semi self-reliant.

4.  Let friends and family call you out.  They notice us using our phones more than we do, so why not give them permission to point it out when we go overboard.  My wife has no problem getting my attention when I'm starting to check out, and vice versa.

 

5.  Make your screen black-and-white.  Most phones give you a "greyscale" option.  And studies have shown all those bright colors are a big part of why we're so addicted.  This is one I haven't tried yet, but it's an option for sure! 

 

The website inc.com gives even more helpful input on this topic!