The Uses of a Phone 05/08/23

It’s getting hot outside. I lay in the grass listening to Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. It’s about how we should all use our phones less. At this point, that statement seems obvious, but there are plenty of good reminders as to why that’s important in the book.

It got me thinking about what I use my phone for.

I use my phone to group chat with my friends on Signal, and to communicate with the next ring out of friends and acquaintances on Discord. Sometimes I fall down an Instagram reel rabbit hole. Skate videos, funny parenting videos, stand-up comedy clips. I deleted TikTok a long time ago.

One phone app I have never used much is Kindle. I use my Kindle Fire when I read e-books or manga. I’ve recently read How to Market a Book and Amazon Ads for Authors by Ricardo Fayet. On the manga side, I’ve knocked down tons of it lately. Most of Gantz, Dorohedoro, Biomega, on and on.

I also don’t use the WordPress blog app very much. I’ve always done these blogs on my laptop. Same with novel writing. I wish I had a dedicated app for doing that. Word is still a program that I associate with my full-time freelancing work. I have yet to find a better program, though. Atticus might come close, which would be great, because it also designs the book for you.

I use my Audible app a lot. This past month, I’ve listened to The Book by Alan Watts, Unsouled by Will Wight, The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne, The Creative Act by Rick Rubin, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, Atomic Habits by James Clear, Hospicing Modernity by Vanessa Machado de Oliveira, and At Work in the Ruins by Dougald Hine. I’ll have more thoughts on all of these for the blog at some point.

I’ve used my PictureThis app to identify the plant life in my yard. The big tree in the middle of the yard is a Chinese elm. All the big trees are elms on my street. Which makes sense, as it’s called “Elmwood.” There’s a lot of creeping woodsorrel in the grass. The plant by the kitchen window is called a Japanese spindletree.

I have one for bugs, too.

Other than that, I use banking apps, Venmo, Target, Todoist, and that’s about it.

Makes me feel pretty okay about the phone use. It’s not scrolling Twitter (I destroyed it) or Instagram (besides the aforementioned occasional chucklescrolling). IG is almost unbearable for me to use most of the time due to the frequency of the ads. I hate commercials.

The habit that needs tweaking is just the checking. How the phone is used is not problematic. The frequency is. I’d like to get it down to about 30 minutes to an hour a day.