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.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.