On January 1st, 2018, I deleted the Safari browser from my iPhone's dock. I couldn't figure out how to remove it entirely but I hid it in a folder out of reach.
This simple move had a deep purpose behind it and it has helped improve my productivity tremendously...
Let's get into my thought process and why I think you should join me in disconnecting from mobile web browsing a bit or maybe, entirely.
Why Did I Remove the Browser from my Phone?
I was using the browser on my smartphone primarily for reading news articles.
News is important but it isn't important enough to merit how much time I was spending reading it each day.
Safari accounted for 70% OF MY PHONE TIME!!!
How to See Where You're Spending Time on Your Smartphone
- I had an app installed that told me where I was spending time. There are multiple ways to find out how much time you're spending on your phone, check out this article from OSXDaily.com to learn how to see where you're spending your time.
- I've never owned an Android phone, but I did a little digging for ya'll (didn't want you left out!) and found a free app that is popular and has good reviews. It's called QualityTime.
Every morning I read Yahoo news and click on everything that interests me even mildly.
I know... I know.
Not the best source of news, not sure why that's my go to.
The problem is this...
1. Most News Just Doesn't Matter
Seriously, it really is 99% stuff that I can do nothing about or need to do anything about.
Each day there is more on my plate than I can handle. Things that DO matter so why would I consistently fill my brain (first thing in the morning mind you) with garbage that does nothing for me or those around me?
As I was writing this article, I wanted to find an example of the worthless articles I was reading... It took me less than 1 minute to find this gem while scrolling on Yahoo.com...
This is weird and merits reporting sure, but does it merit my time? No, it doesn't.
I have learned that if anything really does matter enough that I should know about it, someone will tell me.
Reading the news like this wasn't making me more effective, happier or a better member of society in any way.
2. Most News Is Negative and Depressing
As a content marketer, I get it.
Fear, negativity and violence get clicks.
News sites aren't exactly flourishing in the age of social media so they need all the traffic they can get. That means even more of these sorts of "humanity questioning" articles.
This negative news puts a lens on our view of the world and makes it seem like things are way worse than they really are.
Reading this stuff is no way to start each day.
Hysenbegasi, Hass, and Rowland (2005) conducted a study to determine the relationship between depression and academic performance. They found that students who displayed depression symptoms averaged GPAs of 0.49 lower than those who didn't experience symptoms of depression.
3. Anonymous User Comments Make Me Lose Faith in Humanity
I know that the average, anonymous commenter isn't going to articulate their opinions quite like a real person with accountability, but I was tired of reading the thoughts of people when they didn't have to answer for them.
It made me upset to realize how many people are so miserable and negative.
Does that make sense?
What I'm Doing Instead of Reading the News and Browsing the Internet
Fortunately, there are no shortage of things to do instead of reading the news or mindlessly browsing the web.
Reading for Business and Personal Development. I now start my morning with reading blogs or ebooks on topics that interest me and make me more effective. Sometimes I put the phone away and listen to an audiobook while I get ready for the day.
Almost Anything Else! When I find myself wanting a little bit of escape from reading/learning, I play a simple game of solitaire/