[Let's Talk] What do you do to improve your digital well-being?

  1. FlixbusLennart
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jul 17, 2018

    FlixbusLennart , Jul 17, 2018 :

    How much time do you spend on your phone? More than 6 hours a day? If so, have you ever thought about the time that your phone consumes in your life? 6 hours, that's one quarter of the day. When I had my OnePlus 5, it lasted me 8 hours, or one third of the day on one charge - I am talking about screen on time here. Why am I telling you this? Well, one third of the day spent looking at a screen, is... Weird. Except for mandatory work and university stuff, what could be so interesting that you look at a screen for hours and hours? And in my case, what makes me look at my screen for a higher amount of hours than what I get in sleep per day?

    Just recently, I figured out for myself that I needed to stop. Yes, my friends list is international, yes I am interested in communicating with them on a daily, no I don't want to go to Sweden, Netherlands, America and Bali, just to say hi. So some screen on time is necessary. But how does the SOT really get up to 8 hours and more? I had to fix this. So here's my question for you:
    How do you, how did you, and how do you plan to, improve your digital well-being?

    Some people never think about this important topic. Should you struggle to find an answer, here is a list of things that I did, just recently, to fix my relationship with my phone.
    • Uninstall every social media app that is built around consuming your time. The 2 hours scrolling spree on Instagram is just not worth it.
    • Uninstall all the games I don't enjoy. I had some idle games installed, those games where you don't do anything. You log in daily, push some buttons and wait for nothing. 3 of these games add up to 1 hour of useless interaction with the phone. You can use your time better.
    • Stop texting people just for the sake of texting them. Like Snapchat, how important are the flames to you? And if they are, are they there because you actually engage with people or just because the two of you force themselves to send good morning/good night snaps every day?
    • When there's nothing to look at, don't look at it. Seriously. I unlocked my phone almost every minute, just to scroll through the Homescreen pages, to open the settings, or Telegram, or whatever. And to then realise that nothing happened.

    This list could be much, much longer - but eh. This thread here is to ask you! Answer how you want to, be it a list, be it a story, or any other form. Looking forward to you guys sharing your thoughts on this! Cheers.

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  2. idkwhoiam322
    Nougat Jul 17, 2018

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018

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  3. FlixbusLennart
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jul 17, 2018

    FlixbusLennart , Jul 17, 2018 :
    Hahaha nooo, why should it be? The Telegram group doesn't have anything to do with this, I had it muted and my phone only buzzed when someone @'d me. So no worries mister :D

    script, idkwhoiam322 and manuel19 like this.
  4. kuverti
    Gingerbread Jul 17, 2018

    kuverti , Jul 17, 2018 :
    At one point people starting noticing this and started the 7day or 30day challenge to stop using their phone or trying to minimise their social media presence. There are a lot of apps to help you with that. The first one that pops on my mind is Forest where the longer you are from phone, the bigger tree grows in your forest.

    Personally, even though sometimes I notice myself procrastinating on social media when I should be learning or doing projects for school, I don't have an issue with over-using my phone. However at one point I noticed I have another issue and that is how fast I get distracted by the phone. For example sitting in class, my phone vibrates. It's a notification from Instagram that a friends has posted a story in a long time. I am going through the park with my friends, when my mom calls to ask how I am,.... and every time I check my phone to see what the notification is. Even if I don't check it, I will get anxious quickly, a little voice in your head going through what it could be... is it a message from a friends, an email that I won a giveaway I joined recently or maybe just Google Photos reminding me that 5 year ago I went to a coffee shop in Italy. And we don't even realise that every time we do this, our mind switches from reality to "virtuality" - we are taken away from enjoining the moment.
    Few months ago someone suggested - or was it something I've read online - to try to mute notifications. That little crossed bell icon I thought was one of the more useless things on the phone. I thought to myself why not try it out. At that time I didn't think that this issue was a big problem for me. I saw the result very quickly. By having my phone on DND for most of my day, not only did I use my phone less but sometimes I forgot that it was even in my pocket. Now I know not everyone can do this. A lot of people have to respond to emails as soon as possible, or use the phone as part of there everyday job but by just going offline, there are a lot less notifications - a lot less distractions.

    I recommend that everyone tries this out when they go out with friends or partner, are in school or just want to use their phone less, because I can see that Instagram story in the next 24 hours and call my mom back later.

    P.S. good question, was thinking about posting something similar, guess I have to be quicker next time :tearsofjoy:

    Joel B, meatandy, script and 8 others like this.
  5. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016 Jul 18, 2018

    Dresa91 , Jul 18, 2018 :
    This is a great idea @FlixbusLennart.
    I work as DBA in IT. So I have at least 8 hours a day sitting in front of a screen.
    I try that the "digital" does not increase too much. As a compensation I always try to move a lot (even at work). I play football in my free time (twice a week) and once in addition to sports.
    Before I go to sleep I switch my mobile phone to the flight mode to find a restful sleep and not to be disturbed.
    Once a month, for example, there is a mobile phone on my bedside table because I am on call for my work.
    I think that social media, the willingness to be online has increased so much that I am trying to swim against the current.

  6. David Y.
    OS Product Marketing Staff Member Jul 18, 2018

    David Y. , Jul 18, 2018 :
    Interesting topic @FlixbusLennart .

    IMHO digital life can be meaningful when we use it right. How many hours of usage per day just a process, not a result. If the result can make us feel fulfilled, 12 hours a day will not be a bad thing at all.

    Back to your question, got one point to share since I find it extremely useful to me.
    1. Keep the digital device as clean as possible. Install needed apps only so that I can have fewer distractions, plus, the phone can be more stable when there are no weird unknown apps. I have 55 apps installed on my phone right now, I still believe I can uninstall some to make my life easier. (The hidden space is a sweet addition for some infrequent but necessary applications tho)

    Keep that lovely community app, people. Don't give it another thought o_O

  7. Dunnow
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jul 18, 2018

    Dunnow , Jul 18, 2018 :
    x'D those side-notes xD

  8. obol2
    Honeycomb Jul 18, 2018

    obol2 , Jul 18, 2018 :
    That's the last app you should uninstall.

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  9. Drewbikscube
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Jul 18, 2018

    Drewbikscube , Jul 18, 2018 :
    For me, it's certainly hard to determine where exactly do I draw the "digital" line in the sand. Like many in this thread, I work within the tech world, so 8-14 hours a day are spent staring at multiple digital displays. When I get home from the office, I try to minimize the amount of time I spend on my phone as much as possible. Especially since I have a wife and 4 daughters, it's all family time when I get home.

    Some steps I have taken to improve my digital life at home:
    • Removed almost all games from my device. Typically leaving maybe one or two that are usually only played during travel.
    • Voice assistance and AI certainly go a long way in improving digital life, especially for me.Google Home has certainly helped reduce the amount of times I need to pull my phone out at home. I'm able to ask or tell versus pulling out my phone to manually search/do.
    • Social Media I tend to stay off of anyways. Instagram and Snapchat I honestly don't use much, if at all. FB I will occasionally check that but usually not when I'm at home. Twitter I would say is probably the only feed I may patriotically check and leveraging some automation and IFTTT I've setup a notification pop-up to remind me to get off twitter if I've spent X amount of time on the app.
    • Youtube, instead of catching up on all my subscriptions at home, I try to watch all of my subscriptions during my lunch at work versus while at home. Occasionally I'll watch them on my TV with my family depending on the content but this is rare.
    • Banking/Finance applications also used to consume quite a bit of my time. My wife is a stay at home mom. I work and manage the all of the finances/bills. Instead of constantly checking the accounts and bills etc.. I setup notifications on all of my accounts so I'm alerted of any charges. In addition, I've also setup auto-pay on almost all of our bills. This has reduced easily 1-2 hours of my digital time daily.
    • Work e-mails I stay away from completely now when I'm home. I have setup some automation around this using IFTTT and additional logic so that when I get home, (based on my location), all notifications for my work e-mail / applications are set to do not disturb. The automation does look for some keywords so I will get notified for specific things if needed. Obviously in the IT world there are things that come up that I may need to address but luckily this is rare.
    • OnePlus Community I'm usually on during work and then I'll check it about an hour or so before bed when I briefly run through all my apps in my "bedtime" routine.
    • Bedtime Routine consists of me checking all of my apps/notifications 1-2 hours before bedtime. I run through all of my apps, while asking Google Assistant on my Google Home to also run through my "next day" which consists of my calendar (both personal and professional), weather, etc.. Then my do not disturb/bedtime mode kicks in, my OnePlus will get thrown on the dash charger, I'll get ready for bed, get my clothes out for the next day etc. and then I'll take the OnePlus off the dash charger, it's usually at 100 by that time lol and it gets thrown on my nightstand and I pass out.
    • Rinse and repeat! I think it's important to not necessarily cut out all digital content in your everyday life, but to find that happy medium where it's not disrupting or interrupting the people or activities in life that are most important to you. Once you find that happy medium, make it consistent and stick to the routine. I'm certainly much happier following my routine outlined above!

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  10. Drewbikscube
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Jul 18, 2018

    Drewbikscube , Jul 18, 2018 :
    In addition, I will say that I swap phones / devices often. When I do, there are times I'll go to a "dumbphone" just to disconnect for a bit. The Nokia 3310 is a great example of a device that just let's me cut ties to the digital world. It's nice for a few days but then reality does hit and unfortunately we're extremely dependent on smartphones in today's society.

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  11. Salt505
    Jelly Bean Jul 18, 2018

    Salt505 , Jul 18, 2018 :
    One easy way to keep yourself from using your phone too much is to set your display to monochrome. Doing this makes constantly looking at your phone less appealing and stops your brain from longing for a colorful reward when you hit that power button.

  12. FlixbusLennart
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jul 18, 2018

    FlixbusLennart , Jul 18, 2018 :
    Dammit! Will try that for sure!

  13. Aathif_Mahir
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 19, 2018

    Aathif_Mahir , Jul 19, 2018 :
    Just Add Google's digital well being feature for Android P. we'll try to use and limit the time of an app that uses daily basis.

  14. LinkRar
    Froyo Jul 19, 2018

    LinkRar , Jul 19, 2018 :
    Ironically enough, I think technology itself is telling me I need to spend less time on it, which actually helps out a bit. Allow me to explain.
    So I'm currently a student, and I can be, what some might consider aggressive with what I own, both in usage, and in wear. This is partly due to me being a student, partly due to me being broke, and partly due to me just having a lifestyle that is very "go go go." As such, I tend to wait to purchase things/fix them until I absolutely have to. This is where the technology comes in.

    So back in early April, the motherboard of my laptop decided to crash on me. Now this wouldn't be a huge deal, but because I have had issues with the laptop in the past, including (but not limited to) a broken screen, two motherboards going down on me, and other various bumps/scratches that happen when you're spending your days lugging a $400-some laptop around in a backpack, I decided it would be better to simply have the entire thing scrapped, and to save the hard drive to back up files when I bought a new one.
    While all of this was going down, my phone had been having some problems of it's own. I've had a OnePlus 2 since 2016, and it's served me very well. It's also had some issues with it, that I've learned to adapt to. These include losing the functionality of both the fingerprint scanner and the alert slider, the volume buttons on my phone falling out entirely, having a bad screen replacement cause me to lose the ability to use my front-facing camera (dust got trapped between the glass and the lens, causing it to look like I was surrounded by a dense cloud of smoke whenever I took a selfie), and most recently the screen beginning to crack like crazy, with chunks falling out (although the bit that was covering my front-facing camera fell out, so I could take selfies you could see again).

    So now that I've explained my tales of mishaps with electronic devices, I can talk about why they've helped me with my digital well-being. When I scrapped my laptop, it sucked for a few days. Sure, I couldn't get the things done I needed to for college right away when I needed to. But I still had other ways I could get it done, such as my phone, or other computers. I couldn't be distracted as easily, since most, if not all of my distractions had been destroyed with my laptop. Not only that, but since I now had to schedule time to get things done whenever it involved a computer, it forced me to focus on those things, and to put more effort into them. A similar thing happened with my phone as well. Each time I lost something that I thought was important (fingerprint scanner, a front-facing camera, etc.), it made me realize how little I actually needed it in my life. For example, losing my front-facing camera made it much harder to do things such as take selfies. Now, instead of just opening up the camera and hitting a button, I had to manually turn my phone around and hit the volume button, or (after I lost the volume buttons) hand-press the button. Sure, that might have been what you had to do three years ago to take a selfie, but it made me realize how I needed to focus less on myself and more on what was around me, whether that was people, places, or experiences. Because of this, my phone now has more photos of other people than anything else, which is something I've tried to reflect in my day-to-day life.

    As of writing this, I still have yet to replace either the laptop or the phone (since I'm fairly certain it'll take itself apart before I know it), but if I do end up having to go without, I'll be okay with it. Sure, it'll take some getting used to, but because of what's already happened to me, I know I'll be more ready for it.

  15. kuverti
    Gingerbread Jul 19, 2018

    kuverti , Jul 19, 2018 :
    I agree with your point. After I fell into to the ocean with my OnePlus 2 in the pocket, the antenna stopped working which meant I could no longer make calls or use mobile data. It was still usable as a WiFi tablet which I kept in my bag for the next year, but was using my old Nokia phone (one colour screen and buttons) as the main "daily driver" to make calls and receive SMS. I responded to every notification only when I took my broken phone out of the bag and that became really rear - I kinda got used to a slow phone with only two functions.
    By having hardware restrictions, you are basically forced to adapt to the new lifestyle. To anyone having real problems with addiction or spending too much time on their phone... just buy used Galaxy S2 or the old Galaxy S, you will be cured after a day.

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  16. LinkRar
    Froyo Jul 19, 2018

    LinkRar , Jul 19, 2018 :
    Yeah, it really helps to see what you can go without. Like, the main reason I haven't gotten the screen fixed is just because there's so many other things wrong with my phone and it'd probably be better just to replace it. When I switch from the device I already have to something totally new, it's gonna be a bit of a culture shift for sure.

    FlixbusLennart likes this.
  17. edewojames
    Cupcake Jul 19, 2018

    edewojames , Jul 19, 2018 :
    I can't do without my smartphone. If I don't have data on it, I better leave it at home or risk it been misplaced as a result of no usage. Everyday, I am on it. So, ensure I al
    More about me than you.

  18. luigimario
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Jul 31, 2018

    luigimario , Jul 31, 2018 :
    This is a very good question to get people thinking. I would say i have about 3-5 hours of SOT a day. Really seems like too much to me.

    I installed a phone use tracker lately to see how many times a day i unlock my phone and what apps i'm using and for how long. The results were shocking. I'm not a heavy user, I don't think, but I still had over 100 unlocks a day and 3-5 hours of use. Many times I'd double tap on the screen to see if i had any notifications when nothing was there. I would also turn on the screen to look at something less than a minute after i had just finished looking at something else!

    I think there is too much attachment and reliance on our devices and rather than connecting us to more people (as many people seem to think) I believe that it is disconnecting us from others and the world itself. (like this):

    My little experiment made me more aware of how much time I waste on my phone, or just checking it for no reason. I don't have any social media accounts either, no facebook, IG, etc. So what am I wasting my time doing? I find it's mostly to relive boredom. I'll check news, check emails, the weather, send some texts, read about new tech, play a game etc. The question is do I really need to do all this?

    I've gone through my app list and deleted ones I don't use anymore. I've cleared out games I don't play anymore. I have only a few games that I play regularly. I will try new games and if it doesn't interest me, I will delete them.

    All said, I really should be more strict with my phone time. For example, the first thing I do in the morning is check my phone for news and any messages, then many times in the day. Seems a little dependent right? I am thinking I should do a quick check in the morning, and another at lunch time, then at the end of the day. I could limit my usage to 1 hour a day (3 20-minute intervals) and have so much more time back, but the question is how feasible and realistic is this? I would still reply to any urgent messages, and other chat-type messages could wait for the designated times.

    As much as I'd like to get down to 1 hour a day, I'm thinking 2 hours might be more realistic. What do you think?

  19. luigimario
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Jul 31, 2018

    luigimario , Jul 31, 2018 :
    Dude, so awesome. I actually just mentioned in another post that I still have an old Nokia from 2004 and that I was considering starting to use it again to reduce my reliance on my smartphone. Glad to see that it can be done!

  20. Daisy K.
    North America Marketing Staff Member Jul 31, 2018

    Daisy K. , Jul 31, 2018 :
    As a millennial, I feel like both heavily criticized and increasingly more socially acceptable to be on your phone constantly. I love social media, taking pictures, games and I don't think I'd make the change to get rid of those. Instead, I try to limit time I actually spend with my phone. Instead of deleting my instagram, facebook, snapchat, twitter etc...there are specific times when I refuse to look at those things. For example, when I'm out with friends, I don't bring out my phone unless something extremely necessary like figuring out where I'm going or calling someone we're meeting up with to make sure they know our plans. Same goes for quality time with my husband. When I'm at the gym, I do classes so I don't spend another hour on the treadmill scrolling through dumb stuff - instead I focus on myself and my goals. I don't think you need to quit anything all together but allowing for genuine social time uninterrupted by your phone or any social media is constructive and healthy in my opinion!