Embracing Tranquility: When Less Is More

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Tranquil Sunset

Loading your smartphone with tons of apps may be the vogue in enthusiast circles. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you become,more productive. As a matter of fact, chances are that you get to deal with a lot more distractions. Those never ending streams of notifications and messages – most of them completely useless and avoidable – are things you might as well be better off without.

A few days ago, I asked a friend of mine if she was available on BBM. As you all know, recently, I was sent a BlackBerry Z30 and so I was looking to connect on there with all my favourite people. Her response was shocking:

Hey Mr Mo! Nah; I am not on BBM. No WhatsApp, Viber or stuff like that.

My sincere response to that was this:

Chai! I almost envy you. What a peaceful life! Very few distractions.

In 2013, her lifestyle is what a peaceful life is. I know another friend who I met on Twitter. Last year, she got in touch privately to tell me that she found the noise a bit too much for her and that she was going to get off Twitter. This was after she had unfollowed as many people as possible. Apparently, that didn’t solve the problem. I thought to myself, “Ah! Give her a few months, and she will be back.” It has been over a year, and she is not. I know another person…. Oh! You get the message.

I agree that this life of constantly being swamped with communications can be noisy for some people. Actually, I believe that it is noisy, but that a lot of people have gotten used to the noise. It doesn’t make the noise any less bad. I liken it to the hordes of Lagosians who push themselves through horrible hours of traffic every day. Many have gotten used to it, but it doesn’t make the experience any less harmful to mental and physical health.

Charlie Warzel over at BuzzFeed makes a similar case for deleting all your apps. Well, not exactly all. He had to format his phone and so ended up with a clean device and describes the few hours that he had the phone before re-installing or setting up anything as “kind of tranquil”. What he did eventually was re-install apps and setup services that were absolutely essential, cutting back on the noise that he had lived with. He describes his first weekend in this new lifestyle this way:

This past Sunday, while watching football with a group of friends, I found myself more engrossed in the actual games. I was looking at my phone far less than anyone in the room, and I wasn’t jealous.

With less apps and services running on his mobile, he ended up with a richer lifestyle.

I get tired of the noise sometimes. That is saying a lot, considering that I don’t do a lot of stuff that many people do. I am not an app junkie. When I hear people complain that certain platforms don’t have hordes of apps, I get bewildered. What in the world are people looking for?

Still, it is different strokes for different folks; isn’t it? The message that this article pushes may not be for everyone, but I dare say that there are people out there who will find my counsel heaven-sent: cut down on the apps and services to enjoy some peace and tranquility. Less is more.

4 comments

  1. // Loading your smartphone
    with tons of apps may be the
    vogue in enthusiast circles.
    That doesn’t necessarily mean
    that you become,more
    productive. ///

    Depends on what you use your phone for. Usually, the more useful apps, the more productive.

    (
    Eyebeekay Dictionary..
    )

    MADNESS :

    Definition

    Spending. N100K + on a smartphone for mostly decorative porpoises

    //

    If nomophobia is a disease, I don’t want to be cured!

    The key thing is moderation. Moderation, like Perception, is intensely personal.

    tranquility is bliss, but so is ignorance. out of the cacophony of so_called noise, you still make sense.

    what the eye doesn’t see, the heart can not grieve about, yes, but then, if you close your eyes so that the devil should pass, you may not know when the angel will pass you by too.

    delete the apps? yeah, right. sell the television and smartphone, too, and while at it, throw away the home Theatre.

    There, no more distractions.

    Singing Bongos Ikwe ..you can see the sun , going down, and we can hear the waters splashing down hill…

    After all Boko is Haram, no?

    Seriously, moderation. that’s all.

  2. Seriously, I personally have never been the numerous app person. Just have a few of them running on my phone and that excludes BBM, whatsapp, Instagram, Pinterest, Badoo, wechat, 2go and many more. And to justify your point on the noisy phone I stayed without my phone for five days and you can’t imagine what peace I felt. Like Charlie Warzel, I had a reason to format my phone and install just the apps I needed. My folks think am not smart phone complaint but one of them tells me everyday that his phone takes more than 16hrs of his time everyday and guess what, he is chatting on all apps

  3. true all this social network apps are a big distraction. you just can’t concentrate much when your data is on and notifications keep coming in. I didn’t have a smartphone at a point last month for 8days, life continued and I still had my fun. I thought I wouldn’t survive but I did.

  4. Well, just as you intoned Mr. Mo, “different strokes..” . What one person terms as noise is probably what another thrives on. And I agree with @eyebeekay, if you decide to go gangster and delete apps ‘cos of distractions then throw out other gadgets as well.

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