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Waste less time on your phone with this simple trick

We tap our smartphones more than 2,600 times a day, on average. See if this experiment can help.

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I’m writing this on my smartphone while standing up. I’ll be brief because using your phone standing up gets old quickly. Which is precisely why I only use my phone standing up.

I think we’re all in agreement that smartphones can be incredible tools of connection and productivity. That is when they’re not busy being the biggest tools of distraction in the history of Homo sapiens — a world in our pocket that is incredibly adept at taking us away from the actual world around us.

Like seemingly everyone I know, I’ve resolved to cut down on the amount of time I’m dumb-thumbing my way through life. I’ve tried tactics like turning my screen to gray scale to make it less enticing, or using apps to block me from using other apps.


The key, I’ve discovered, is to think of my phone as a tool. For when I think of tools, I think of things I typically use while I’m standing up. So, one day, I decided to see what happened if I only used it standing up. And just like that, my screen time plummeted. You should try it, too.

I quickly realized that while I’ll stand to do something I need to do, I won’t just stand around scrolling the Internet. I’m on my phone for just as long as I need and usually not a second more. And in those rare moments I end up in some online hole, it doesn’t take long for the better parts of me to realize I’m just standing around doing nothing. So I put the phone away and do something better with my time, like running off to play with my kids, which is easy because I’m already standing.


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Billy Baker can be reached at billy.baker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @billy_baker.