Considering Abstaining from Technology This New Year

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,714
1,101
NJ
As much as I love my iDevices, they consume me -- and a lot of the world. I'm tired of wasting hours a day on a computer even though I know the very ins and outs of every device at a fanatical level. I feel like these can retract from our lives and end up wasting our precious time.

Considering downgrading my rMBP and I'd even consider just ditching my 5s for a dumbphone even though I've owned every iPhone! As much as I love my gadgets I want to live without being attached to my iPhone six hours each day. How many of you wake up and don't even get out of bed since you're catching up on your iPhone?

I don't think I'd mind after a week or two not having these gadgets taking up my time, despite how a lot of my work is done on these.

It feels like wishful thinking but self control is impossible when you're surrounded by 3 iDevices.

These do add to our lives in some miraculous ways but I'm sure each one of you can think of time better spent each day when playing Candy Crush or checking email for the 100th time.

Want to be free... not sure how :cool:.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,818
33,790
Boston
Nop offense but that sound ludicrous.

I use my idevices, laptops and technology to make my life easier. Why would I want to abandon technology in 2014. It provides entertainment, it helps me earn a living and keeps me connected to people I care about.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
37,980
27,317
Behind the Lens, UK
If Candy Crush is your vice, then I think you could be a lot worse off. Think of all the other addictions out there and the effect they have on you.

I couldn't be without my iPhone/iPad/iMac because they make my life easier not harder. I'm old enough to remember the days when we didn't have mobile phones. When you had to arrange to meet someone in town and be there for 2 house because their train got delayed. With no way to contact each other it was a nightmare.
Or what about being able to send an email or check on your work stuff when you are out of the office? Years ago I used to get in to the office after a holiday and spend the day sorting through hundreds of emails that would take up the whole day. Now when I have a bit of down time, I can just open up my work email and get a bit done in the 5 minutes I have.
Being able to sort appointments without having to go home and check my diary first.
Sharing a photo or a video with a loved one.

There are so many ways that technology helps improve our lives. If your spending 6 hours a day playing Candy Crush then maybe you should evaluate your technology usage. As for me I will stick with the technology thanks.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,278
783
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Feature phones are good enough now that they have the basic productivity apps built-in. That's the reason why I'm going back to one this year and ditching my smartphone. I'll save a lot of money doing it too.

Of course I have an iPod Touch and iPad, but those are things I will only use when it's appropriate, and I won't be carrying them around everywhere, except school and extended trips.

When it comes to games, you have to have a plan. You buy one, you play it, you delete it. I don't play games tied into social networking, or that are basically just an endless zen mode because I don't want the game to own me. There was a time where I could easily do that, but I'm an adult now and there are better things to do with my time.

I unsubscribed to pretty much every newsletter, so I only get 5 pieces or less of e-mail everyday now.

Don't give up your computer. That's a desperate move. There are apps that will help you stop getting into your Steam games, Safari, or whatever during certain times. There are apps that will force you to take a break. These are better alternatives than just giving the computer up altogether.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,361
6,308
The Anthropocene
Considering downgrading my rMBP and I'd even consider just ditching my 5s for a dumbphone
Umm, your idea of abstaining from technology is to continue to use the same technology from a few years ago?

It feels like wishful thinking but self control is impossible when you're surrounded by 3 iDevices.
Self control is impossible? Is this causing problems in your life?
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
18,014
9,030
Colorado
Instead of abstaining from using technology, why not abstain from getting (read buying) any new technology. Keep what you already have, but just don't add to it or upgrade.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,818
33,790
Boston
It feels like wishful thinking but self control is impossible when you're surrounded by 3 iDevices.
Good luck with this portion - many of use are able to control access and not get too wrapped up but not everyone.

As I mentioned I'm not too keen on the idea, but if you're addicted to candy crush and cannot stop, perhaps changing over to a dumb phone is a good solution for you.

My phone is needed for my day to day work, getting emails, getting paged for when servers are down. Interacting with my team. Likewise my rMBP is a great tool, it handles aperture wonderfully, I cannot image downgrading just for the sake of using older technology.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,779
3,823
I can certainly appreciate the desire to dial back the use of tech/devices as I'm hoping to do the same, but within reason. The simple fact is that the world around us now operates on technology and to try to remove said tech from your life would also be to handicap your own ability to function effectively. Unless your job and lifestyle can permit you to go with regular access to email, messaging, certain computer software, you're just limiting yourself.

Figure out what is essential and try to cut out what you don't need to do your job or for school, to interact with family and friends, and cut out the extra. And yes, there has to be a certain level of personal self control. Try setting very specific limits to the time you allow yourself on your devices and stick to it. After a while you may find you don't miss it as much.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,066
1,611
Georgia
You can do what I do. At the end of the work day I turn off my ringer and plug the phone into the charger and don't look at it again until the next day. On weekends I rarely ever look at it I just go about fixing up the house, working on a hobby, &c.
 

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,392
1,516
Why not keep the iPhone you already have and disable everything? Keep Safari and Maps there for obvious reasons.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,186
1,187
Pennsylvania
I considered dropping my smartphone for a "dumbphone", but since I'm not footing the "smart" part of the bill, I don't save any money...

But I tried it out, and what I needed up doing was using my smartphone sans-SIM as a mini-tablet in bed, and my phone as a phone. The end result: Nothing changed.

But good luck :D
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,885
1,559
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Nop offense but that sound ludicrous.

I use my idevices, laptops and technology to make my life easier. Why would I want to abandon technology in 2014. It provides entertainment, it helps me earn a living and keeps me connected to people I care about.
Exactly, trying to stay away from them isn't going to work in this day and age.
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
1,387
13
Spaceball One
You can do what I do. At the end of the work day I turn off my ringer and plug the phone into the charger and don't look at it again until the next day. On weekends I rarely ever look at it I just go about fixing up the house, working on a hobby, &c.
This sounds good. I need to try this. Macrumors is just always here :D

Perhaps buying the lowest capacity iphone possible would help the OP. Not a lot of room for apps on a 4gb phone, leaves room for email, maps and the like.
 

Synchromesh

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2009
579
48
SF
Go for it. I'd be willing to assist you by purchasing that rMBP from you cheaply. Can even trade it for a 2011 regular MBP if you like.
 

sviato

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2010
2,282
45
HR 9038 A
Instead of abstaining from technology, try getting a job and some hobbies. I find I'm rarely on my phone when I'm busy.
 

r.harris1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2012
925
1,937
Denver, Colorado, USA
... self control is impossible...
Self control is always possible. Surely you have more interesting things in life than your iDevices, correct? Family, friends, work, hobbies are all techno-diversions. I used to keep my phone by the bed. It now gets thrown into a drawer in another room each night. I can think of no reason anyone would need to get a hold of me, really, for anything, unless someone is paying me to be on the other end of a communication device overnight. Even with a death in the family, the family member will still be dead in the morning :D.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
52,399
35,828
The Far Horizon
In the first world of the twenty-first century, I am not sure that it is possible to 'abstain' from technology, or, at least, 'abstain entirely' from technology, not if one has a job which requires access to the wired world and demands from an employee the ability to avail of that.

However, I am fairly certain that it is possible to set limits, or boundaries on the appropriate use of technology, and on the degree to which one can consider it permissible for it to invade your personal and private space (or control your public and/or professional space).

So, why not set boundaries which would set out when technology can be used, and when it can not be used? The key to controlling technology, is to define the circumstances, settings, time, and locations when and where you choose (or decide) to use it.

For example, I never answer my phone when I am eating out, or having a meal, or a social drink with friends. Likewise, when I am at home, my phone (which is not a smart phone) is usually in a briefcase, and, if it rings, it remains unanswered - private time is private time.

Above all, if I am writing a paper, or thinking about what I need to write, or reading and mulling things over, phones remain unanswered unless it is the most pressing emergency which requires an immediate response. You can always return calls at a time more convenient for you.
 

Beeplance

macrumors 68000
Jul 29, 2012
1,560
485
Singapore
Instead of abstaining from technology, try getting a job and some hobbies. I find I'm rarely on my phone when I'm busy.
Pretty much the advice I would offer. Making yourself busy is indeed the best way to reduce the time spent on smartphones.

In the first world of the twenty-first century, I am not sure that it is possible to 'abstain' from technology, or, at least, 'abstain entirely' from technology, not if one has a job which requires access to the wired world and demands from an employee the ability to avail of that.

However, I am fairly certain that it is possible to set limits, or boundaries on the appropriate use of technology, and on the degree to which one can consider it permissible for it to invade your personal and private space (or control your public and/or professional space).

So, why not set boundaries which would set out when technology can be used, and when it can not be used? The key to controlling technology, is to define the circumstances, settings, time, and locations when and where you choose (or decide) to use it.

For example, I never answer my phone when I am eating out, or having a meal, or a social drink with friends. Likewise, when I am at home, my phone (which is not a smart phone) is usually in a briefcase, and, if it rings, it remains unanswered - private time is private time.

Above all, if I am writing a paper, or thinking about what I need to write, or reading and mulling things over, phones remain unanswered unless it is the most pressing emergency which requires an immediate response. You can always return calls at a time more convenient for you.
Ah, Scepticalscribe, wonderfully worded. If only everyone was like you....
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,238
197
Mesa, AZ
I hear what you're saying. I've had these exact same thoughts. At times I just feel like I'm too "connected" by having a smartphone. It's a constant stream all day, email alerts/Facebook alerts/SnapChat alerts/text messages, etc. I have thought about just ditching it all together and going back to a dumb phone. It sounds like a nice thought, but I know the minute I get rid of my iPhone I'm going to want it back, lol. I know that I have control over all of this...I could put my phone on silent, better manage which alerts pop up, etc.

Ultimately, I enjoy having the ability to be connected all the time, and I enjoy being able to stay in touch with people so easily...but there are times that I find it a bit overwhelming and far too time consuming. However, that isn't the phone's fault, it's MY fault. Talk about a First World problem. :)
 
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