Save yourself from a wasted life of phone-staring with these three easy tricks

Save yourself from a wasted life of phone-staring with these three easy tricks

CultureJune 16, 2016 By Dave Reuss

You're probably addicted to you phone, because you check it 134 times a day and spend all your free time on it. We all do. But it's time to take your life back. 

But everyone needs a phone, right? You can't just pitch that life-sucking rectangle into the river. It's super useful for ordering pizza, getting directions or calling your mom, who you should call right now. 

All you need to do is break the reward cycle for all the apps that totally suck your soul out of your eyeballs (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). We'd all rather be looking at naked ladies and other people's adventures, but you're a higher being and you're gonna actually live your life. Here's how to do it, in three managable steps. 

Step 1: Disable the cellular data for non-essential apps. 

Settings > Whatever app is ruining your life > Cellular Data off

There! Now when you're not connected to wifi (i.e. out at restaurants, in public, pretty much any time you're not at home), you can't look at stupid shit on your phone. You have to interact with the people you're with, and you can't mindlessly scroll through Tumblr to avoid talking about your friend's drinking problem. It's real life, and it's glorious. Yeah, it sucks sometimes, but that's part of the experience. 

Now something like this:

Just can't happen. Enjoy the world. Talk to your friends. Hell, just blankly stare at your friends because it's a hell of a lot better than that stupid "homeless cats" app you're on all the time. 

Step 2: Turn on greyscale. 

Settings > General > Accessability > Greyscale

Your brain is hardwired to respond to bright colors, glowing red notification buttons and flashing lights. That's science. But if you defuse that bright red zit on the corner of your Instagram app by turning it into a dull grey bump, the deeply coded alert system in your brain won't translate it as danger and you won't automatically press it — and you'll save days of your life. 

And when you do browse through your social media, you won't enjoy it! Take this beautiful image for example. 

Wow! Pretty cool, huh? Now check it out.

Man, that sucks! Yes, you can still tell that your buddy went to Cancun and you'll be able to talk to him about it, but you sure as shit don't want to see any more photos, because it's not enjoyable to look at. 

You might think that basically ruining your online experience sounds harsh, but it's honestly what you need. Has there ever been a time when, on your phone, you said, "Oh thank fuck I spent eight minutes digging through old Instagram posts to find that one thing! My life is so much better!" No. The answer is no. 

Step 3: Turn off your phone for a whole day, we fucking dare you. 

Some people will say, "Oh my god, there's no way I could go without my phone! I'd die!" 

Well, guess who didn't die without their phones? Literally everyone in existence until 2007. And they got a lot of shit done. 

Try it. Seriously. A whole day. Nothing will happen that can't wait 24 hours. We promise. Do it. Do it now. 

If you can make it a day, then you can make it two days, and then maybe you can not spend your entire life staring at other people on the Internet. We believe in you.