Throw me a digital sheep!

Escaping to the lush green meadows of the “real world"

Words by Shashank SN

The smartphones that we carry around with us everywhere are fantastic little devices, capable of entertaining, informing, and communicating with the rest of the world, but they can be incredibly distracting, too. I have always been a minimalist and, thus, decided that my phone will not suck up any of my time or attention.

You might have seen many hacks to a minimal phone setup, but let me tell you something, none of them actually look like mine. Welcome to my minimal phone setup.

I have no Instagram, no Twitter, no Facebook, and, behold, no WhatsApp. Well, I could actually feel the gasps of Indian uncles and aunties over the latter two, but I am not on any social media.

The apps allowed to exist on the scrutinizing screen of constant uncertainty are those which are truly necessary for my functionality. If you feel that I’m exaggerating about my rigorous selection, then you haven’t seen the agony of Zomato, which is allowed to breathe on my screen every weekend only to be terminated as soon as the order reaches my doorstep.

Speaking of being uninterested in digital mediums of amusement, I do not even have a wallpaper on my phone anymore. My wallpaper is just a black screen, a looming pit which I escape from every chance I get to the lush green meadows of the “real world.”

But as the modern world wakes itself on social media before the actual world, I am forced to be bound by the shackles of social platforms to communicate for my work. I do have Signal, a social messaging app, that manages all my work updates, contacts, and teams.

I have to admit that I haven’t been completely liberated in my journey to invest time into things that provide positive and meaningful results in my life, but I have surely left no stone unturned in trying to achieve it. I always keep my phone on silent and make sure that I don’t keep looking at it.

The conclusion that I reached after practicing this method is that it’s not really smartphones that are distracting—it’s all the apps that we load up on them. If you want to embrace digital minimalism, get rid of as many apps as you can. The amount of serenity, focus, and stability you’ll feel might actually bring you back here to thank me.

And if you do, you know where to find me. Just install Signal!

Shashank SN

Shashank SN is a "wanna be" comic who started as a graphic designer and settled as a brand consultant. He mostly spends his time running It's a Design Studio in front of his Mac. He writes about minimalism, design, social media, and branding twice a week. He's been a proud minimalist for the past five years.

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