This post is a reflection on Digital Minimalism on my Phone (FOSS) I wrote exactly a year ago.
A year ago I yeeted all my apps, disabled notifications, started using FOSS apps in the hope that I spend my time efficienly. After the initial few weeks the ‘FOSS’ and ‘Ad Free’ apps get just as much addictive as the mainstream ones. Although it’s not as toxic / invasive of your privacy. All my chats and social apps are available from a desktop too, but I prefer them on my phone for some reason.
The problem is not about the apps or if I spend my time on them. It’s the cognitive ease - just pick up the phone and start using it. Always ready, at your fingertips. A convenient screen size, always sleeping - no booting time, the battery lasts long and no clickly keyboard noises when you get into a heated debate online. If you use a phone exclusive app - that’s probably a dangerous app in the first place. I would rather use its web app or run it in a VM.
There are 3 reasons I could categorize how phone’s are useful
- As an emergency device: (you have to compromise on privacy but seems reasonable)
- To take photos. (Like the ones featured in this post and here)
- To listent to music while you work on something else.
Phones are inherently addictive by design. At it’s core it is a portable device that can talk to the interent 24/7. I guess after a year of literally the same monotonous routine, ahem - online classes, you get bored and try to think of something better to do.
Do check it out. Which is where I usually spend my time on, editing videos, researching and jotting down stuff related to videos. When I was busy with this I didn’t really bother / have the urge to check my phone. On the laptop I didn’t ‘miss’ anything, whilst keeping upto date with my friends and simultaneously editing. I got a lot of things done that day.
Here’s a sneak peak of upcoming videos btw. 👀
As the title suggests I clearly said phones are counter productive
Phone’s can ever replace full blown laptops / desktops.
A keyboard, bigger screen is waaay easier to get work done. You also get a real functional web-browser with all your addons. Although the PinePhone / Librem Phone is a project with an interesting hybrid take on this. It’s called “convergence” I believe - cross platfrom desktop apps that work on any screen.
I wish we could mod phones that easily, to swap out batteries DIY, at home. Replace the screen / processor like modular parts of a laptop / PC motherboard. I love the ideas of ThinkPads, PineBook, and MNT Reform - a DIY portable laptop.
Read these articles and videos by Luke Smith Arthur Reeder.
So are you gonna throw away your phone?
No, but it will influence my decision on buying my next phone.
I plan to extend the lifespan of this phone (currently 3 to around 5/6+) before the battery just fails. How? By not using it much. Charging it twice a week is my goal, instead of charging it daily. And when I have to buy my next phone in around 2023 - a huge battery and custom ROM support would be my main priorities.
I assume that you already have a phone and a laptop. Don’t buy a laptop & contribute to e-waste if you are fine with your phone.