One person (Joshua Haskell) experiments with rejecting a full-featured smartphone, to become more engaged in life.
~ Aristotle Sabouni
|I originally told myself that I would try it for one month. One month, and then if I decide that I hate it, I can switch back. This was not a long term project. It was an experiment.
Despite my doubts, here I am, nine months later, and you couldn’t force me to switch back. I love my flip phone. It’s brought me the results that I’ve always craved. My fears about the switch were illegitimate, and all of my hopes came true.
The first immediate thing that I noticed was that I was swimming in free time. At first it was weird. I would get back to my dorm, sit on my futon, realize I had nothing to do on my phone, and then … Keep sitting on my futon. I would sit there as the minutes passed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for something to entertain me.Nothing ever did, so I got busy... I quickly found that my focus was improved without my phone’s constant interruptions. I was completely, entirely in the moment... I worked faster than ever, and I was more able to attentively listen to my friends. I did everything that I love more and better.
I'd liken this to temperance and alcoholism. If you have no self-discipline, then this makes a lot of sense. If you can do moderation, then it is unnecessary. And we all lack self-discipline (some more than others).
This is not to minimize those that are perpetually distracted, and can't disengage -- the software and technology is designed to be attractive and steal your attention -- so "no self-discipline" isn't a slight, it's demanding that you accept that you have a problem before you're doing to be able to fix it.
I would suggest try features of smartphones to block notifications, especially tied with Calendars, so that you can stay more present without having to throw away the technology (and features). But if you can't? Then I think this is an interesting approach.
I'm a fan of balance and moderation, not the extreme of full rejection... but I'm also wise enough to recognize that not all solutions work equally well for all people. And full absitence works better for most people that teaching people to control their dopamine addiction. Thus, if this works for some, then more power to them... and I respect the discipline or solution that they found works better for them.
So the Amish found peace and purpose through rejecting some forms of technology and moderation -- and it completely works for them. (Or at least some of them). Others throw out their T.V. or limit it. And as long as they are doing it by choice, I completely respect their decisions and life choices.