In today’s world, everybody carries a smartphone, not only because Smartphones save us so much time and make us more productive, but they are becoming cheaper and cheaper.

I started to monitor the way I am using my smartphone, and the results were shocking. After a while, I decided that I need to stop using a smartphone and use a dumb phone instead, and here’s why:

1) The real cost of using a smartphone

US adults will spend an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018, and the least hourly wage in the US is $7.25. So, let’s run the numbers (Not so accurate, tho);

  • Daily Cost: 3.5hrs * $7.25 ~ $25
  • Weekly Cost: Daily * 7 ~ $177
  • Monthly Cost: Weekly * 4 ~ $710
  • Yearly Cost: Monthly * 12 ~ $8500

Sounds crazy? Oh, wait; I didn’t mention the Internet Monthly Package cost, maintenance cost, accessories, or even sell it for +25% less of its price to upgrade to the newest smartphone!

Calculator and money

Remember, numbers don’t lie!

Calculate your hourly rate – based on your country & current job – and track your time on the smartphone (There are numerous apps to track your usage time), and after that; Decide whether using a smartphone worth it or not!

2) It’s A Social Media Catalyst

It’s boring to wait in transportation… Hmmm, let’s check the emails. Alright, nothing important, let’s take a “quick” look on Facebook, Instagram to see how many “likes” and “loves” we received since the last time we checked them – 15 minutes ago. Well, that was fast, let’s check Twitter, and WhatsApp to see how everything is going on, or maybe get some updates.

That’s how we spend our waiting time nowadays

If you are addicted to Social Media – like me, your smartphone is the best catalyst and makes it much harder to stop using Social Media or even monitoring your usage. Which means, wasting more and more hours throughout the day without even noticing!

3) Everything seems important

What’s your reaction when you hear the notification beep? Look at your phone, and it doesn’t matter what you were doing or even talking to… You MUST check your phone, or even look at it, in a hurry!

Our brain assumes this notification sound is an “important” and “urgent” to us, that’s why it steal our attention, with a sense of importance and urgency – even if it was a crappy notification, your brain assumes that it’s important to you!

Although my smartphone Calender/To-Do List app keep me on-track, it felt like everything is urgent & important as if the whole world depends on this, and that’s simply not true. Check this out:

Image result for priority matrix
Eisenhower Matrix workflow

In Project Management, they’ve something called “Eisenhower Matrix workflow”, and it’s all about deciding the real things to put your focus on. Most of your Calendar Events/To-Do List items aren’t URGENT & IMPORTANT. Once you put your smartphone aside, you begin to prioritize your life, much easier!

4) Digital Services ruin confidence

I won’t blame the smartphone entirely for this, but it played a great role!

When I know a place’s location, I grab my smartphone and “double-check” the location via Google Maps. I didn’t notice that I am doing so, but once I realized, my whole perspective about Digital services has been changed

It’s not just about locations. Recently, a friend of mine asked me about the “First-Class Functions in JavaScript”, and I was like “Hmmmmm, hold on. Let me check MDN!”. Ironically, I was the one who wrote the First-Class Function page on MDN!

Damn… I know the answer, why I didn’t tell him directly without “double-check” my information and doubt myself? There’s no logical answer, but relying on Digital Services and – just like using Social Media – Smartphones make it easier and even unnoticeable to use more Digital Services!

Again, the smartphone is a catalyst here. Although I won’t stop relying on Digital Services, I will do it less often as I don’t have that “Mini-Computer” inside my pocket.

5) Smartphones affect my sleep

It’s bedtime now, let’s set the alarm and go to sleep!

Oh wait, what about checking tomorrow’s schedule, it’s good for your productivity? Correct. Now, what? Did you get any new emails? Let’s take a look… Hmmm, it’s 09:45 PM, let’s open YouTube App and watch a “helpful” video until 10:00 PM………………. *After a while*, F*** It’s 1:00 AM now!

Good Morning… It’s 8:00 AM, please give me my phone.
– Let’s check the Email Inbox
Quick look over WhatsApp, Facebook, … etc.
– It’s 8:30 AM now, let’s start our day… But wait, I have a crazy headache and I don’t feel energetic!

This happens often to any Smartphone Addicted. I read that our smartphone blue light tricks our mind that it’s daytime, and make it harder to fall asleep. Moreover, once you get up, the first thing you do is checking the smartphone…

Those behaviors don’t only affect our sleeptime, it affects the whole day. You feel tired, sleepy, a little depressed and worry, and that’s pretty much the downsides of having bad sleep!

Let’s face it

We are living in a digital world, and it might be hard for many of us to stop using a smartphone, but everything comes with its benefits & downsides.

It’s hard to explain the feeling without using a smartphone, but you will feel unchained to everything, no notifications and no more looking at your phone while waiting for something!

BONUS: You will notice A LOT of “free” time within your day, you will do more “real” human interaction with others, and more benefits that I couldn’t explain with words

I know that I didn’t propose any solutions, only problems. If you are curious about how I still alive as a Web Developer without using a Smartphone, please let me know!