Set limits for your apps.

This one has a merit. We are all guilty of being on some app for awhile, only to realize vast times have gone by without us realizing it. This isn’t itself ‘bad’ but let’s be honest. Most of the time we don’t come off of hours on Facebook or Tick-tock or one of that crowd with the feeling we’ve spent quality time and feel jolly for doing so. Rather there is a sense of regret and having ‘wasted time’. Indeed there is often a sense of being swindled. What comes to mind is Gerda in Mr. Anderson’s tale “The Snow Queen” who gets enchanted to stay a short while with a two-faced witch until Gerda connects the dots she’s been enchanted and breaks away to get back on her journey.*

Apps are consciously designed to keep us going; they are both clever and diabolical to do so. People are connecting the dots on this stratagem and are trying to curb time on their apps. Fat chance of that. Few have the conscious wherewithal to take the Mae West approach ‘they could have turned it off.”** Rather than trying to attempt so-called ‘willpower’ it is best to put impediments and limitations on app use. For example: taking them off your phone or putting them not on the front page but in a file that requires some scrolling and opening to get at them. Turning off notifications is another good thing to de-sensitize oneself to respond to signals to go have a look-see.

The full recommendation of #26 includes setting a time limit on your app use. It suggests using some setting on the iPhone to tell you parental-like to turn off the TV and outside and play now. Urs Truly has on his iPhone an alarm that goes off at 9:30 PM telling him to knock it off and put down the phone and go do your stretches and read a book for pending sleep’s sake. Sometimes I actually do this, but not often.

Time-sucking apps may be best dealt with by eliminating them from the phone entirely. When it comes to endless needy cellphones, more efficacious than the advice of Mae West is the Voice of Binky:

It’s a bit harsh but it works.

*The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections wished me to expurgate this literary reference on the grounds it was tangential and got in the way of the point. Indeed, they drew a parallel I was more or less doing the same thing viz. keeping my audience away from the topic at hand. Oops.

**One more reference before The-You-Know-Who come after me. Mae West (the dear!) once had a raunchy radio programme. Sumptuary types called to complain about the contents. When the press asked Ms. West about this, she replied “Well, they could have turned it off”.