Sending my Smartphone to Jupiter to Make it Stupider

Dumbing Down my Phone

Posted: June 12, 2022

Skinner Box and Mark of Crumbling Society

Any cellphone user will relate to the experience of a cellphone reflex. This would be an urge to pick up your cellphone during a lull in a conversation or even during a movie. Unnecessary use of a cellphone is such a milennial cringe moment.

So basically there is the concept of a skinner box, where any animal can be conditioned to press the buttons necessary for a reward. This is the entire concept behind slot machines. In order maximize profits, all your favourite apps employ nefarious tactics to keep you engaged.

The constant use of cellphones has drastically reduced our attention spans. Remarkably, I have seen that even my parents' attention spans have decreased. They will be on youtube on the smart tv and be like "oh that looks interesting, but it's 20 minutes long" and them be like "Yay a new, incredibly formulaic covid song parody (only 4 minutes)."

So boredom is actually very important, and in our modern day we do not get that opportunity often. Hopefully in dumbing down my phone and not allowing any social media on it, I will force myself to be more bored.

There is a wonderful video showing how much we rely on cellphones and how it's made us antisocial: Look Up | Gary Turk. Basically: I don't see too much value from my cellphone. Therefore I want to minimize my cellphone usage.

Lite Phone or How??

My current phone is a pixel 3a. I like it simply because it is a little newer than my old one: the lg g4. The 3a is great, but it is also a Google®™© phone. Despite being slower, the old phone has an ir blaster and therefore has a pretty cool native tv remote app. So, a while back: I followed a guide laid out by Fraser Patterson: android smartphone minimalism guide. It is a bit long of a video, but eh, might as well get a head start fixing our attention span.

However, though I did all this work, I haven't used the g4 in probably a month. Given that I also need to study for an exam near the end of June, now's a good time to give it a go.

A Challenge

For the next month, I will exclusively use my "new old phone".

In order to keep myself from going back to my new phone (for the time being) I think I'll change the passcode to a 10-15 digit numbercode and not memorize it but instead write it down and hide it.

Next Steps

Reassess on what I've done so far. Perhaps look more into graphene or lineage os in order to reduce load and improve battery life. It might wipe out the remote contol app though but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.