Getting rid of my smart phone (mostly)
August 15, 2019 8:25 AM   Subscribe

My husband and I want to get rid of our smartphones. I think we can mostly do this, but I have some logistical questions.

1) I travel for work a fair amount. Is there a way I can transfer between a smart phone and a dumb phone? I don't mind paying extra, but I need the same phone number to work between the two phones.

2) We have a lovely six-month old. We take tons of photos and videos of her. I wouldn't mind switching to something like a Polaroid or whatever this looks like, but I would hate to loose the informal 15-minute videos of her babbling or rolling. Are there any offline solutions for something like this that's not overly burdensome?

3) I would honestly welcome any other thoughts, suggestions, ideas, etc. you have around making the switch, particularly if you have done it yourself.
posted by neematoad to Technology (36 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Both of the digital cameras that I have owned took videos as well as they took still pics. There are also things like GoPros that are meant to be very portable video cameras. GoPros don't qualify as offline as most are wifi or cellular connected, but they might fit your needs.
posted by soelo at 8:41 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Switching between phones is no problem -- you just move the sim card from one to the other. If you need a data plan when you're traveling for work, though, you might end up having to pay for it every month even if you only need it some months. Depending on how much you travel that might make sense, or it might make sense to just get the cheapest possible data-enabled plan and then buy data boosts / top-ups when you need to travel.

Are you looking for a purely offline video solution or one that simply isn't cellular / smartphone based? Lots of stand-alone digital cameras are wifi enabled now, so for the videos, you could get one of those and then upload the photos and videos to the cloud and send to others using your computer, rather than your phone. GoPro if you want to focus on video quality or any digital camera if you're more concerned about still quality and video quality is somewhat secondary. I'm sure you can still buy digital cameras that only upload by cable, as well, but that might be less connected than you really want?
posted by jacquilynne at 8:44 AM on August 15, 2019

I've been curious about doing something similar and have been monitoring this project. The phone is shipping in about a month so hopefully honest reviews will arrive soon.
posted by sewellcm at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

I would honestly welcome any other thoughts, suggestions, ideas, etc. you have around making the switch, particularly if you have done it yourself.

Have you considered an intermediate solution of keeping a smartphone but removing apps from it? You can even switch off your browser and I believe you could remove email capability. That way you could keep your picture and video tools but ditch any social media or other time-consuming stuff you no longer want.
posted by sallybrown at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2019 [12 favorites]

I guess I'd wonder at the motivation here, because you seem to be asking for some things that would be awkward or irritating to accomplish if you ditch the smartphone -- I mean, between switching phone platforms for frequent business travel, acquiring another device (and keeping it with you) for quickie snapshots and video, etc.
posted by uberchet at 8:56 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Two questions:

If you can update this, can you tell us more about what you're trying to accomplish? Especially if you're open to other methods (like Sallybrown's, above.)

You mentioned traveling for work and needing to transfer the number; can you tell us more about why you need this? What immediately comes to mind is using a Google Voice or similar number for both, but I can't tell whether that would actually meet your needs.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:57 AM on August 15, 2019

what's the goal of getting rid of smartphones? Paying less money? Less idle time wasted?
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:57 AM on August 15, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far. The motivation is basically to be more in the daily moment. We really don't have that many apps at all (mostly maps, weather, etc.), but I still feel like my phone is constantly holding a space of my brain that makes it hard to settle into the moment and fragments my attention. On days when I turn my phone off, I feel so much more whole.

Re other specific questions -- I don't mind the inconvenience of it, if I can get my brain back. And I was thinking I would need something that could convert back into a smartphone in case I work from home so my colleagues could call...but if the google voice number could forward my cell phone to my dumb cell phone, that might not be an issue. So maybe it would make sense to have a dumb phone with a new number AND the smart phone, and just not use the smartphone as the default phone? We have also talked about switching to one dumb phone and sharing a smart phone as needed.
posted by neematoad at 9:06 AM on August 15, 2019

If your motive is more privacy, use a smartphone without connecting to online accounts. In addition, have the airplane mode turned on.
posted by WizKid at 9:07 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Okay, I have some experience with your reasons for wanting to get rid of your smartphone. Things that have worked for me:

1) Delete apps. Then delete more apps. Then delete more. If you really need it, you can always add it back. I don't even have the Mail app on my iPhone anymore.
2) Turn off all notifications except phone calls and (maybe) texts. No, really. All of them. You pay attention to the phone when you want to, not when it yells at you.
3) Pick a spot that your phone lives. Pretend it's a landline. Don't keep it in arm's reach.

Frankly, I think getting rid of a smartphone is not desirable. Even though I use mine a lot less than I used to, I still use it for: taking pictures and video, maps, phone calls, texts, exercising. Replicating these features without a smartphone is doable, but it's nowhere near as easy. Smartphones are a good tool--you just have to take control of them.
posted by Automocar at 9:13 AM on August 15, 2019 [15 favorites]

You can keep your old smartphone and use that for camera/video btw. If it's an Apple product, that'll sync to the iCloud if you're logged in. Stuff will be fine and it'll connect to wifi. The bonus is this phone will last forever basically with slowly degrading battery life, and you can keep using it for the occasional video or picture.

I think it's a good goal for what it's worth.

And yeah, SIM swaps are easier than you'd think. You just pop it out and put it in the other phone. Be sure they both use the same kind of SIM. Not sure why you'd need to get calls on the smartphone though if you no longer plan to use it? Google Voice also lets you have one number on multiple things.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:19 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: One last comment -- I already have all notifications off, my phone on silent, grayscale, etc. But it still occupies a part of my brain all the time. I want it to not, so looking for practical solutions versus being talked into keeping it.
posted by neematoad at 9:32 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also the smaller carriers are much cheaper and totally fine. I use Cricket for $35 a month. You bring your own device.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:43 AM on August 15, 2019

I am very anti-smartphone. I think they destroy attention spans, the ability to form and develop relationships, and I think in 500 years we will be known as a generation lost to smartphones.

HOWEVER - The world expects you to have a smart phone. I have gone periods of time - months, usually, without a smartphone and while my mind is much clearer I eventually switch back.

Currently the only apps I have on my phone are Uber, messages, camera, phone, and google maps. This is the solution you are looking for. I read your update and I promise you that you can make your smartphone less desirable. And it will be the solution to your problem.
posted by pintapicasso at 9:47 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Can you say more about the smartphone functions you need while traveling for work that a dumbphone would not provide? Your update didn't clarify that for me.
posted by metasarah at 9:51 AM on August 15, 2019

I switched to a flip phone in January and it was 100% the right move for me. I was in the same boat as you - no matter what I did to try to make it less desirable to use my iPhone, it was still there and occupying my mind. Turning off notifications and switching to greyscale are useful as far as they go, but you can still get online and I found that the issue was having access to the internet available to me wherever I went. So when I was in line at the post office I would whip it out to check the news, or if I was in the elevator, or even peeing at a to al, stuff like that. There weren’t any moments of quiet and I felt too connected to the world and disconnected from my own thoughts.

The flip phone I bought is crap and a pain to use, but that’s kinda the point! I wanted more friction in my phone usage, not less. I had a realization after a short time that the reasons I had for why I simply couldn’t go without a smartphone were just excuses. I thought that I needed google maps. But do I really? I mean honestly, how often are you in a pinch where it’s absolutely necessary to use that app? Very rarely and certainly not often enough that it makes all of the downsides you’re feeling about your smart phone usage worth the anxiety. If I need to know where to go, I look it up on my computer before I leave the house. This is not a problem. Same goes for Uber. I simply put a taxi company into my contacts and just call them up when I need a ride. It costs a few dollars more, but it’s worth it. I’m also paying about $50 a month less for my phone now, which more than covers the higher price of taxis over Ubers.

And I bought a new standalone camera, which is great. I don’t have it on me all the time, but I decided that I don’t need to be able to take pictures of every moment of my life. Does the world really need another #SundayFunday shot of a brunch meal? Definitely not.

I can’t speak to the work phone situation, but overall this has been an extremely positive experience for me. I read more books, I read less news (and have less anxiety about the world as a result), and I spend more of my time doing tactile activities than just looking at a screen. This is how we lived before smartphones and somehow we all survived.
posted by fso at 10:14 AM on August 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

I tried to wrangle this for years, probably since the advent of smartphones, honestly, and I could never find a solution. I don't have a kid to document or a job like yours, either, and I still didn't manage it.

Right now I have a google pixel and will never in a million years have an apple product for a phone, because when I did it was a thousand times worse. Android lets you shut it up a whole lot more than ios, so just in case you haven't tried that you might give that a go and see if it cuts down on the mental space your phone occupies for you.

But speaking of mental space, the setup I had when I had a dumbphone and assorted devices to equal a smartphone's utility took up a good chunk of my big purse and I was always concerned about losing things. You might, because you travel and have a baby, already be hauling large bags everywhere with you, so maybe you could get a purse organizer thing and keep it among your other stuff.

My kit contained:
- Small point and click digital camera - these days the market for such devices is really tiny because phone cameras are much improved, but they're out there. You can find refurbished older ones for significant price reductions, I suggest finding a local camera store and asking the people who work there.
- iPod - these days ipods are basically just phones without the phone as far as I can tell but back in the day mine was essentially file storage plus music and audiobooks for travel. Again, you could look into refurbished devices for this, or other music players and file storage devices depending on your tech needs and setup.
- Over ear headphones - these are the one part of my kit that I've kept now that I've given in to the era of the smartphone. They keep strangers away like nothing else - a gloriously clear visual signal, they don't hurt my dang ears, the sound is almost always better, and they make me feel cool, haha, but really they might help you to make some quiet mental space.
- Kindle - I was a devotee of the kindle keyboard. It was black and white, it had little physical buttons perfect for fiddling, it was ideal! But then mine got stepped on and no kindle keyboards were being made and I am sad forever. But new e-readers are pretty good I guess. They can also be used as file storage devices and some of them have charges that last weeks, which is nice. YMMV on becoming an Amazon cog, of course. I could check my email via wifi on my kindle keyboard using a few tricks, but only if I chose to, no notifications.
- Notebook and pens - essential. I use spiral bound unlined sketchbooks because my mutant power is that I can write in a straight line on unlined paper. The pens get stuffed into the spiral binding.
- Nintendo DSXL - If I were to rebuild my kit today this would be replaced with my Switch. Probably you don't need a gaming device, but if you do I highly suggest a Nintendo portable device because they have great battery life and their exclusive games are always going to be quality over quantity.
- Analog wristwatch - So oldschool! I remember being smug about being able to check the time during takeoff and landing on plane flights.
- Last but not least, a flip top dumbphone - My last favorite phone was from something like 2004? I remember that it was red like a car. I always recommend Ting for phone stuff here, my phone bill is about $18 a month. Right now they're selling a "feature phone" for $50 that's a flip top! I'm almost tempted, tbh.

Edited to add - I remembered the big reason why I finally gave in to having a smartphone. I moved across the country from Boston to Seattle, and I desperately needed maps and bus information. Never could find a device to do this for me that wasn't on a phone or wired into a car.
posted by Mizu at 10:20 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've never had a smartphone. I've been rocking an ancient flip-phone for years. The biggest problem I have is when I'm part of a group text. For whatever reason, there's always someone in the group whose texts come in to me as an image message. Dunno why. It's usually the one person on an Android phone.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:00 AM on August 15, 2019

I kept my smartphone and got phone service via a sim card. I then bought a Nokia 3310 that works great. When I'm traveling I go back to the smartphone.

The main disadvantage is really bad photos, so I recommend a camera or just using the smartphone without phone service, on wifi, for photos.
posted by tooloudinhere at 11:30 AM on August 15, 2019

But it still occupies a part of my brain all the time. I want it to not

Deleting the phone from your brain is a matter of a couple weeks' consistent practice. You do not need to change your life and give yourself the permanent inconvenience of changing phones periodically and carrying around an extra separate camera in your pocket at all times. Instead, you need to do delete as many apps as possible, turn off all notifications, and leave your phone on the entryway table when you are at home. For the first few days, your brain will constantly worry about what's on the phone and what you are missing. In a couple of weeks, you'll be just fine. In a month, your brain will have forgotten what worrying about a phone even feels like.

Training your brain in this way will also teach you that it's possible to train your brain this way. This is a great life lesson to learn!
posted by MiraK at 12:08 PM on August 15, 2019 [9 favorites]

I made it work for a long time with an ipod touch + a flip phone. I used the camera on the ipod, and if I was in a place with wifi I could use apps -- but it didn't feel as though it was following me around/living inside my brain the way that a smartphone does. And when I was away from wifi, I only got texts/phone calls -- which was totally fine. (I also had a Garmin GPS unit for navigating unfamiliar cities.) It is totally doable! Don't listen to people who tell you it's impossible!
posted by attentionplease at 1:01 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Switching between phones is no problem -- you just move the sim card from one to the other.

It's only not a problem if both phones use the same chip size.

Here's a couple solutions you may not have thought of:

1 / I don't know what kind of phone you have, but if it's an Android, try an app like Thrive, which allows you to limit the use of your phone to X minutes per day. Whittle this number down daily over a week or two and you'll eventually be at 5 minutes or whatever number you're happy with. You can also tell it to not let you online at all or limit use of particular apps. You can also whitelist certain apps like the camera so they don't affect your usage time.

2 / You said you needed the same number for a dumb/smartphone but you didn't say if it had to be your current number. If it doesn't have to be your current number, get a Google Voice number (free, I believe, or a one time fee), assuming you're in the USA. Then, when you switch from dumb to smartphone for travel or whatever, you can just log in to your Google voice and register whatever sim you're using while travelling. All your contacts call the same number regardless and it forwards to whatever phone you're using without them being aware of it. When you call out, call display shows the GV number.
posted by dobbs at 1:17 PM on August 15, 2019

One suggestion: get a phone that will work with your smartphone sim card and use that at home, but keep your smartphone as a camera. You can use your not-so-smartphone on wifi, but generally keep it plugged in in a drawer somewhere that's not your bedroom. Maybe a guest room? And then use it, with sim card, when you travel. So you'll still have your same smartphone but won't use it as a phone when you're at home.

One other thought: I think there's a connection between the space in your brain and taking all those videos and photos of your baby. The impulse to take the photo and share it is powerful. If you switch to using a slightly bulkier digital camera, it'll be more cumbersome and you'll probably take fewer photos and videos. But I bet you'll still take plenty of photos and videos. And maybe part of this transition is realizing that there might be more moments where you are just in the moment, rather than recording it. This might feel like loss at first.

Good luck! I've been thinking about doing something like this, too.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:33 PM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I also advocate working on the mental aspect, and working through what is keeping you so occupied. I honestly don’t keep my phone on me most of the time and it took some time, but I no longer seek it habitually. I sometimes toss it somewhere when I get home from work and have to hunt for it in the morning for work.

I too have a young child. We have a camera and a shared iPad that we have in the living room to use. Also my partner has his phone on him. I just enjoy what happens and it works for me.
posted by inevitability at 1:55 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Have you read Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism? He has some excellent thoughts on reducing the amount of time we spend mindlessly staring at our phones, as well as a digital detox exercise that should help you break yourself of the habit of constantly checking your phone.
posted by Tamanna at 1:57 PM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have a blackberry style dumbphone that I use as a phone and a smart phone that I use like an iPod with a camera. I never hooked it up, so I don't make calls on it or text. (It's much nicer to text on a phone with an actual button keyboard, plus this way people can text me fifty stupid emojis and all I see is a line of restful squares. Depending on who sent it and my general mood, I can imagine that it's a yellow smiley with its thumb up and its tongue hanging out and a green one puking and a red one frowning with steam coming out of its ears or that it's an eggplant and a taco hand in hand. The point is, I decide.)

On the smart phone I have whatever aps it came with plus Shazam so that I can play "Beat Shazam" and win TEN... THOUSAND... DOLLARS plus a stepcounter that I never look at. And that's it. I use it every day because I download podcasts on it so that I can go on walks and not die of boredom.
posted by Don Pepino at 2:05 PM on August 15, 2019

Switching between phones is no problem -- you just move the sim card from one to the other.

It's only not a problem if both phones use the same chip size.

There's another potential issue - some carriers allow sim cards to be switched between phones and some bind the sim card to any phone that uses it. You'll need to check with your carrier.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:08 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Re: "world expects you to have a smartphone" – I work for a large university, which has upped its security recently. We are now required to use two-factor Duo authentication to approve each day's new login: log in on your puter, it sends a notification to your phone, you click "Accept" and there you go.

Looks like if you don't have a smartphone and need to do it, you get some sort of token or fob.

Given increasing security, keep that in mind.
posted by St. Hubbins at 2:13 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Another option could be to use a dumbphone as your main phone and a smartphone (with limited data) for work and emergency data needs. You could use a camera like the GoPro (or another point and shoot) for pictures. This may seem like a lot to carry (although the GoPro is tiny), but it seems like you're willing to try something different. The phone plans would cost about $45 a month with Consumer Cellular for the two lines, unlimited talk/text, and 2GB of data. Consumer Cellular has a flip phone called the Doro 7050 that works on a 4G cellular Network. A lot of dumb phones are not 4G compatible. This is could be a problem in the future as 3G networks are slowly going away. Verizon will actually be ending 3G support at the end of 2019. I've never used Consumer Cellular myself and I don't use a dumb phone personally. Consumer Cellular does seem to get reviews though and they have a decent 4G flip phone. If this setup is not working for you they have a 30 Day money back guarantee.

You may be able to get away with one cell phone line for $30 if the sim card size of the Doro 7050 and your smartphone is the same. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find out if the Doro 7050 uses a micro or nano sim card or if sharing a sim card between two phones is something Consumer Cellular would be okay with.
posted by mundo at 2:15 PM on August 15, 2019

Sorry, it seems like Verizon will be ending some 3G support at the end of 2019, not all of it. Link .
posted by mundo at 2:21 PM on August 15, 2019

You can remove non-needed apps, delete the icons for the rest, leaving the phone and camera. Get a clunky case and velcro it closed so you have to use effort and intent to open it. Put up a piece of velcro near the door, hang up the phone when you get home.
posted by theora55 at 2:25 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I recently downgraded to a dumbphone. While I understand the many ways in which one could limit and shape their use of a smartphone as mentioned by others in this thread, I, like you, simply wanted it out of my life as much as possible. It has been extremely positive so far! Per your stated desire, I absolutely feel closer to the present moment: calmer, more attentive, more tuned in to my own mind and surroundings.

At the moment, I do still take my old smartphone with me if I think I'll need Uber/Lyft; I cannot imagine why fso's comment about just putting taxi numbers in my phone did not occur to me, but I think I'll try to shift to that.

Also like fso, I like the feeling of friction; yes, I like looking up facts and staying on top of news and communicating with friends, but it all bogs down my mind over the course of the day and my brain just feels so much lighter. Texting on the phone I bought is far less easy than Swype, but it also gives me a great excuse not to be in contact all the time always with everyone ever. (Re: friction: since I hate texting on the dumbphone, I often text only through Google Voice when I'm at my computer, which keeps me from feeling tethered to texting around the clock, which is one of the feelings I was looking to reduce.)

I haven't solved the camera issue yet; I still have my old DSLR on hand but it often feels too bulky to lug around if I know I just want to take some everyday snapshots. I'm considering getting an old point and shoot to fill the gap but it has also felt freeing to not have the constant option to take photographs (a personal tendency which predated smartphones but one which, naturally, smartphones made worse). It's also given me the opportunity to start sorting through years and thousands photos and, as I think about how to cull and retain them, will surely drive me to become more mindful about photography in the future.

Like you, I had already taken a number of steps to reduce my smartphone usage--deleting social media accounts and apps, grayscale mode, keeping it out of the bedroom at night--but fully downgrading has felt really, really good in a way I didn't anticipate. It has removed one extra bit of background hum and has helped me realize how committed I am to building a life free from technologies that make me uncomfortable at best (and that I find actively harmful and unethical at worst), convenience be damned.

Good luck! I suggest you at least try it. By the way, I was going to purchase through my carrier, but found a much cheaper and totally functional option on eBay.
posted by youarenothere at 2:59 PM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I also wanted to greatly reduce my smartphone usage, so when it was time to replace mine, I got the Unihertz Atom. It's a phone that is so tiny that I basically only want to use when I REALLY need to. It's fully functional, has a good battery life, takes decent pictures, is shatterproof and waterproof. It's billed as the world's smallest smartphone, and that is no lie. For me, its size is a huge deterrent. I can just barely see the screen, so I don't use it for browsing or social media- mostly just for texting, making calls, and listening to podcasts or music. This might not be enough of a downgrade to make it work for you, and I fully support going smartphoine free, but thought I'd mention this in case it appeals to you.
posted by ezrainch at 8:18 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've done this. It made me feel better, but because I depend on texting as my main form of communication and I couldn't find a dumbphone that texted capably by 2019 standards, I eventually went back to a smartphone. Here's what I learned:

1. If your current smartphone is an iPhone, you must turn off iMessage some time before you make the switch, or else Apple will hijack your messages and they won't get to your dumbphone. Then you have to leave iMessage off all your devices pretty much forever.

2. When I had a dumbphone and people sent me picture messages or emojis, I didn't receive them, and I didn't even get a little "box" emoji to show that such a message had been sent. I also sometimes didn't receive a messages that were sent as group texts. This made my friends and family mad at me. When you get your dumbphone -- and maybe some are more capable than the one I was using -- I'd put it through message testing so you know what its capacities are, and then let everyone know what kind of messages you can and can't receive, so they won't send you the wrong kind of message and get offended that you're "ignoring them."

3. My dumbphone also didn't "thread" texts so all the texts were in a giant folder, instead of in line like a conversation.

4. And I had to use the old T9 form of texting (where you press the number 1 three times to get the letter C), so it was hard to keep up with people who were texting long things from smartphones.

5. The new Light Phone 2 looks like it might solve many of these problems -- it calls, threads texts, delivers emojis, allows you to type on a full keyboard, as well as doing rudimentary navigation and let you call a rideshare car. The LP2 also does "tethering," which means you could use it as your dumbphone, and then if you needed to have a smartphone with you on work trips (I'm not clear what function you need from the smartphone), the LP2 could provide the smart phone with its data. They seem to have just shut their IndieGogo but I hope/assume the phone will be for sale through another platform soon.

6. It CAN be easy to switch a SIM between a dumbphone and a smart phone, or it can be hard. This depends on the card slots in the two phones (do they take the same size SIMs?), the way the card slots are positioned (my dumbphone expected me to have a full size nano that would slide into a little metal envelope -- pretty much impossible to do with a nano in a card adapter), and whether the SIM is a type that allows you to do such a thing. In my experience, the GSM sim cards all switch, but the CMDA cards don't -- so the ideal easiest configuration would be that both your phones use the same size GSM card.

7. You can totally take movies with a digital camera. Or if you want a dedicated video camera maybe you could buy something like an old Flip.

Personally, I found it hard to switch to picture-taking with a digital camera because I'd gotten used to being able to take twenty pictures in a minute with a smartphone (especially while photographing young animals). A real camera takes longer to snap photos because of the shutter.

8. Ting is a phone company worth thinking about because they allow you to buy phone service "a a carte" so you could just pay for your calls and texts when you're using your dumb phone and pay for data when you're using your smart phone. (They don't let you use your dumb phone to tether, though.)

10. Not quite on topic, but adjacent: last time I tried it, a program like Offtime on Android could effectively turn your smartphone as dumb as you want (it could just be calls/texts/camera if you wanted, set to recur all day every day), I think Screen Time on iOS can lock the phone down almost as much if you put it in "parent mode" and let your spouse have the secret code, and Freedom can block the internet from your phone as well as your computer.
posted by sockanalia at 12:58 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I agree that long text message threads on dumb phones can really become a pain. One way around this is to gently suggest to your close friends and family to use Signal or WhatsApp. They can use the Apps on their phones and you can use the Mac or PC Desktop version on your computer/laptop.
posted by mundo at 5:38 PM on August 16, 2019

If you accept the defaults, your phone will notify you of texts, emails, news, reminders to play games, amazon ads, Instagram posts, etcetera. I allow missed call and text notifications, silently, no vibration. Calendar items can make a noise. Emergency alerts, obv., and phone calls. No other notifications. Facebook, reddit, other social media apps are not installed, I use the web for them on the phone. This really reduces my phone's distraction power.
posted by theora55 at 7:19 PM on August 18, 2019

« Older Mackinaw City overnight?   |   Short term HELOC? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.