The following article is from the Weekend Australian Magazine and The Times article “The Silicon Valley insider who says turn off your phone“. It’s an eye-opening view on where technology is taking us and well worth a read. We hope you enjoy this.

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Turn off all notifications except those from people

Most notifications are generated by machines, not actual people. They keep our phones vibrating to lure us back into apps we don’t really need. Visit settings > notifications and turn off all notifications, banners and badges, apart from apps where real people want your attention. Or, better still, turn off all your notifications altogether.

Go greyscale

Colourful icons give our brains shiny rewards every time we look at our phone. The solution? Set your screen to greyscale. In iOS, go to settings > general > accessibility > accessibility shortcut (bottom) > colour filters. This allows you to triple-tap the home button to toggle greyscale on and off, so you keep colour when you need it. In Android, go to settings > digital wellbeing & parental control > wind down.

Charge your device outside the bedroom

Get a separate alarm clock and charge your phone in a different room. This way, you can wake up without getting sucked into your phone before getting out of bed.

Keep your home screen for tools only

Do you open apps mindlessly because they are the first thing you see when you unlock your phone? Try limiting your first page to tools – the apps you use for quick in-and-out tasks such as Maps, Camera, Calendar, Notes. Move the rest of your apps, especially mindless choices, off the first page and into folders.

Launch apps by typing their names

Swipe down and type the app you want to open instead of leaving easily accessible bad habits on the home screen. Typing takes just enough effort to make us pause and ask, “Do I really want to do this?” In Android, you can use the search box on your home screen. In iOS, for best results turn off Siri suggestions (settings > Siri & search > Siri suggestions to off).

Better still, remove social media from your phone altogether

If you really want to use your phone less, remove all the major social media apps. It’s the easiest way to cut back, because these apps gobble up so much time. Train yourself to use them from your computer only (if at all). Note: you can delete the Facebook app and still get some specific features, such as Messenger for messages.

Send audio notes or call instead of texting

It’s common for people to misinterpret text messages, while the voice is rich with tone and less vulnerable to misinterpretation. Recording a quick voice message is often faster and less stressful than typing a message. Plus, it doesn’t require your full visual attention.

Use texting shortcuts

In iOS, press and hold on a text message and you’ll see a menu of quick reactions. It’s faster than crafting a response and can also add some context, giving a taste of the emotion that’s often lost in a text.

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