PRO TIP: If you can’t be bothered to read 1,000’s of words right now, you can watch the video a few paragraphs below or listen to the podcast episode right here. 🙂
I love Korean food.
For years, I lived a mere three blocks away from Koreatown in Toronto. Picture a half KM of nothing but bolgogi, bibimbap, BBQ buffets and karaoke.
Combine that with my favorite coffee shop and a large park with an outdoor hockey rink, and it was everything I needed.
There was one Korean restaurant in particular that I frequented regularly. On a recent trip there with some friends of mine, I couldn’t help but notice the kids at the table next to us. (I say “kids” like I’m 65 years old… they were probably 18 or 19)
There were four of them, two boys and two girls. They were your pretty typical teenage Koreans. They certainly wouldn’t stand out in a crowd.
But there was one thing in particular I noticed about their behavior. I don’t why I noticed it. None of my friends did. Probably because I’ve been making an effort to be more mindful of how I’m spending my time, and that has led me to engage in more public people-watching. (I’m not a creep I swear)
For me, this behavior was so glaringly obvious. And frankly, disturbing.
They hadn’t looked up.
They had been sitting at that table for nearly fifteen minutes, the four of them together, patiently waiting for their food, and had not once looked up from their phones.
A group of friends sharing a meal together in a public restaurant… while completely ignoring each other. (they were probably even messaging each other on their phones)
I wish I could say this is the first time I’ve seen this. And I guarantee you’ve seen this multiple times as well.
What has happened to us? When did we lose our ability to physically engage with another human being? To make eye contact? To use that big hole at the bottom of our face to make audible sounds that express thoughts and ideas?
Well, about 10 years ago… we invented something cool.
“Whenever society acquires a new technological skill or ability, there’s an unsettling period during which we’re besotted with the new technology, using it indiscriminately without understanding its effects.” – Manoush Zomorodi
For all the amazing things smartphones have accomplished, it’s only now becoming clear how much damage they cause. And, unfortunately, that damage has been disproportionately focused on the generation who don’t even know life without smartphones.
As a result, there is a growing movement to raise awareness to this damage and reverse its effects. Smartphone addiction is real.
Deleting these six phone apps has made the largest impact on my health, focus and productivity.
What makes these apps perfectly primed for deletion is the fact that you don’t have to stop using them completely. These apps all have a web version that is just as good of an experience, and sometimes even better.
If you want to regain your focus and productivity, and improve your overall mood and well-being, you need to delete these six phone apps first.
I removed these 6 apps from my phone
Chrome (and any other web browsers)
You don’t need a web browser on your phone.
Most apps now have built in browsers. Or you could do what I do and just use the Google app. Most of your web browsing is going to begin with a Google search anyway.
If you’re on Android, it makes it even more sense, as Google search is built straight into the OS.
If you’re on iPhone, just use the Google app. Simple.
Since I removed all browsers from my phone, my mindless browsing has significantly decreased.
BBC News (and all other news apps)
Look at that screenshot.
I don’t know about you but, to me, 50% of the “news” BBC presents on their headline page is either pointless, propaganda, complete nonsense, or just ripped straight from social media.
I hesitate to use that term but…
It’s sad. The BBC was the last place I could find meaningful and important world news. Over the last couple of years, they’ve slowly descended into the clickbait canyon alongside the likes of CNN, FOX, MSNBC and all the other trash news organizations.
It’s yet another reminder to be careful of believing everything you read and watch.
At this point, I don’t know of any legit news organizations that I can rely on to provide non-biased and neutral facts on important world issues. So, I have no use for news apps anymore.
A pleasant byproduct of deleting all news apps is that my overall mood has improved. I’m no longer bombarded by negativity and political nonsense.
Fun fact: the Instagram experience is way better on the web. No joke.
- No Explore tab
- No unsolicited notifications
- NO ADS
- I repeat, NO ADS
Why even bother using the mobile app?
Except… the app is still the only way to post pics. If you post a lot on Instagram, or rely on it for your business, then this may not be a viable option for you.
For me? The last time I posted a pic on Instagram was over 4 months ago. Before that? 5 months. So yah, I don’t post much. I’m a consumer.
And for that, the web version is so much better.
If I could only choose one form of social media, it would be Twitter.
It’s the only social media platform that gives you full control over your feed and content. It really can be anything you want it to be. And it has the highest potential for exposure and virality.
Because of this, I found it to be the most addictive of the bunch. Which is why I removed it from my phone.
I only use it when I’m on my laptop and in full work mode. This keeps the distractions down to a minimum.
I’ve fallen out of love with Medium.
It used to be the premier place to find quality and clickbait-free writing.
The platform has grown massively over the last couple of years and, in the process, has become a gigantic echo chamber. It’s just a bunch of people spewing the same thoughts with zero deviation from the talking points.
And I swear… if I see one more “morning routine” hack I’m going to sleep in until eleven every morning in protest.
You know what? You should go even further than removing Facebook from your phone. Just delete your Facebook account entirely. I promise you won’t regret it.
Deleting my Facebook account was one of the best decisions I’ve made in years, just behind canceling my Netflix subscription.
Data theft, corruption, spying, censorship, fake-news-spreading, ad-peddling, psychological manipulation… How many more reasons do you need?
At the very least, get it off your phone. And that includes Messenger.
This is just the beginning
I’ve deleted many apps from my phone, but removing these ones made the most meaningful impact on my quality of life.
And, compared to most people, I didn’t even have that many apps in the first place. So you if you have a ton of apps on your phone, you’ll feel an even bigger difference when you delete these things.
More focus. More productivity. Less stress. Less time-wasting.
Have you detoxed your phone? Which apps did you enjoy deleting?