I love minimalism. I love the clarity it provides from taking energy from one area of life and redirecting the energy to where it’s most important. Once in a while, I find myself veering off the minimalist course in which I like to pursue. It’s never far, but a gentle reminder helps put me back on course. Lately, I found that reminder, especially when it comes to technology and particularly my mobile phone and any app.
My phone got to running a little more slowly than usual. I’ve gone from no texting and barely using my cell phone, to installing every “helpful” application, and back again. I was reminded why we don’t need another app for that when I grew tired of my slow performing phone. Maybe it was time to uninstall some apps and get back to a little more real conversation. A sign… Perhaps.
Why you don’t need an app for that.
I’m going to tell you why you don’t need another app for that. Keep in mind the keyword “need” here. People often think they need a thing, even though many people would clearly not label that thing a necessity. If you need a break from the constant chaos of your cell phone and digital life, or even another area of your life, then consider these tips.
Your phone will perform better without those apps: Most of those applications run in the background. While cell phones are smarter than ever at managing apps, sometimes an app will run rogue. Even without said rogue app, apps are designed to keep you constantly connected. Do you really want to be constantly connected? Does the battery and processor on your phone?
You can do the same exact crap, without the app: Login to Facebook through your phone’s mobile browser… Now open your Facebook app… Seeing much of a difference? Me either. The only difference I could think to find was that I couldn’t upload a “temporary profile picture.” I don’t do this too much anyways, but it seems like I can’t without the app. Oh, the horror!
What are those apps doing, anyway?
I’m not sure about what Apple allows its users to see as far as permission details, but Android is pretty up front with what those apps are doing. This includes things like using your camera, with or without your notice. Recording everything audible that is going on around you. Accessing some of your most personal information. I get that we live in a world with many open books anyways. Why allow one more (potentially) untrustworthy source to pull at your information, especially when they are (ultimately) useless on our devices?
Taking back control of your time and energy: I don’t know about you, but when I have a notification on my phone I feel pretty tempted to check it, almost obligated. When I delete the application I delete the notifications that come through. If I really want to check Facebook or other information, I can just go to the mobile browser on my terms to catch up. When you’re done, simply exit. No apps, no notifications. You can regain control of your time, sanity, and cell phone.
So, wait a minute? Speed up my phone, have a longer battery life, lose no functionality, gain more privacy, and end the notifications to regain focus on what I’m doing? Where can we lose?
Take control of your tech and your phone. Explore each app on your phone and see if you can achieve the similar level of what you are doing through the mobile browser or another method. Don’t be a slave to the cell phone. Some genius invented voicemail for a reason, and a damn good one. At every “ding,” “beep,” “buzz,” or cool ringtone you’ve set up for your mom, you needn’t run to see what you might be missing. If you do, you might be missing something way better right in front of your face.
For more helpful minimalist tips check out Minimalism: Because Less Is More.