Today’s Solutions: January 18, 2022

Like it or not, “interacting with the world around us” often requires a digital interface, which makes doing a digital detox pretty difficult. But that doesn’t mean you can’t disconnect from the digital world. It is possible to continue using your smartphone to solve everyday problems while simultaneously removing the apps and features that turn your phone into a screen-staring device.

Recently, a computer science professor by the name of Cal Newport shared a piece of advice to his students: “Use our smartphone only for the following activities: calls, text messages, maps, and audio (songs/podcasts/books).”

In other words: don’t allow your smartphone to connect you to the giant sinkhole of the internet. Get rid of your browser and your social media apps and, if possible, your email. (If you can’t bring yourself to fully disconnect from email, at least disable the notifications so you’re only checking when you want to.)

While a complete digital detox is desirable at times, what we all want most is to have control and stop using our device for a whole lot of distracting things that we don’t really need to do. When you eliminate those distractions from our phones, you will naturally use your phone less and spend more time feeling present.

This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we get ready to welcome 2020!

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