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John Bair
John Bair
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Forget Smartphones; “Dumbphones” Could Give Us Our Lives Back

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As an active member and volunteer speaker for End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org), I’m constantly beating the drum about the dangers of smartphone use and other distractions behind the wheel. Now that there’s an app for everything we need to do, it’s obvious why many of us are incessantly using our phones.

Aside from the extreme danger of texting, talking, and using apps while driving, what else are we hurting by being glued to our phones? A nationwide survey would probably find an alarming number of people frequently fiddle with their phones through dinner, on vacation, during trips on public transportation, and other times they should instead be focusing on the now. Do smartphones, iPads, and other smart devices come between us and our family?

smartphones and distractions

Enough people have seen the detrimental effect of this era’s smartphone obsession that they’ve chosen to revert back to the good old days, when a cell phone had one purpose: to be a portable phone. In an article for Thrive Global, Shelby Lorman discusses the “anti-smartphone market” as more people are looking for simplified devices to supplement or even replace our do-everything-all-the-time phones.

Lorman notes three new anti-smartphone products:

  • Light Phone: It’s a credit-card sized phone with no Internet capacity, a camera, text or access to apps.
  • Siempo: This phone has many of the perks of a smartphone, like a camera, texting, maps, and a few other basics, but doesn’t offer email or social media.
  • Nokia 3310: This inexpensive phone is a throwback to two decades ago, when it was all the rage. It has the old T9 keyboard and no social media.

Not ready to make the change? Mental Floss offers some tips to help break an annoying tech addiction. Here are a few tips:

  • Consciously choose other things to do in idle moments instead of scrolling through apps.
  • Download an app that tells you how much you have used your phone that day. The article offers several suggestions.
  • Power down all tech devices an hour before you go to sleep.
  • Turn off notifications.

Multibillion-dollar tech companies aren’t going to help smartphone users get a handle on their device addiction. We must consciously take back the time we’re afforded to focus on the more important things in front of us. Instagram can wait for our attention, and the people who matter  shouldn’t have to compete with it.

 

 

About John Bair

John Bair is an experienced settlement planner and financial consultant with a passion for ending distracted driving. As a frequent EndDD.org volunteer, he has spoken to audiences  around the country. To assist others in raising awareness, John has written numerous guides and articles about giving successful EndDD.org presentations in schools, business, and community settings. He is a proud board member of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.enddd.org/.

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