After seeing the incredible increase of mobile phone usage over the past year and literally seeing everyone constantly on their phones (they are called SMOMBIES or Smart Phone Zombies), I thought it was time to try to operate effectively, as an expert without the full use of my smart phone. This by no means a signifier that I’m exiting my profession, but I do feel I don’t have to ‘get high off my own supply’ to continue as a digital and technology expert.

I believe excessive phone is the self-inflicted polarisation from controlled media consumption, which creates localised flashes in the pan, when compared with the wider consensus of opinion of our countries. But for the people buried in their phones, I suppose it feels like the whole world is about to collapse when something doesn’t go their way – They become a gang of Trolls – Vindictive, nasty and actively weaponise social media through floods of memes, tweets and likes to get someone sacked; or punish a brand into submission with what are generally marginalised opinions.

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We have to step back and understand what is going on with ourselves and be responsible enough to ask how we want our future to be defined, not how we’ll use media consumption to define it. 

I wanted to experiment upon myself as a professional and and a Human Being interacting with the World what it would be like deleting all emails and apps from my phone:

Day 1: Got up in the morning and automatically went for my phone. I changed my email footer info to say to text beyond working hours. I sent out emails to clients stating to text or call for an emergencies. Later that evening I kept going for my phone through reflex action.

Funnily enough, I didn’t bother typing up the diary into my phone after Day 1, as I was using my phone so little, I didn’t want to ruin the retraining to end the reflex actions. For the next few days after work hours, I kept thinking, ‘how is that project doing, and do I have emails?’. Later that week I did get worried after being out late. I checked my emails from my laptop and there was nothing there that couldn’t be answered until the morning. If I had my phone, I would have seen the emails and probably cancelled my plans to work on some related project.

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I am not a Smombie anymore

After 1.5 weeks listening to the birds tweet in my lovely studio space, I feel more relaxed and more in control of my life. I have been to a party without resorting to being distracted by my phone; I’ve got used to not getting my phone out between sets at the gym. I don’t even bother pairing my phone to my car’s Bluetooth anymore unless I’m on a mission that requires me to be incommunicado. I’m hardly talking to people on WhatsApp anymore as I’m not exchanging links, which result in long conversations. My social profiles are maintained from my laptop. I’ve stopped obsessing over buying an Offroader and keeping up to date with cars I love that I’m never going to buy. Stopped impulsive buying from Amazon when I’m out or at home – It’s way more harder to order something from the laptop. I’m not downloading new apps to give them a go anymore. Very quickly my social circle has changed. 

My phone is back to how I used to remember it… Something I use to speak to people with. As a professional it feels like I can somehow relate to more people now I’ve stepped back I now understand Human nature better. Nothing has changed with my clients, they are still there, I have more time to improve my thoughts and they feel more like my own than a concoction of distractions and influences.

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I recommend this method to everyone, I honestly feel sharper, cleverer and wiser for this change. 

Image by Steve Cutts.

#dumbphones #smombiegate #5g #phones #mobile #psychology #telecoms #apps #ux