Vandam's Weblog

Stepping back

January 1, 2023

At the time of writing this, I'm 19 years old. I grew up with technology for most of my life—we had a huge beige family computer in our living room, and I'd watch Digimon with my brother. What a time!

I've had a long relationship with all sorts of screens—TVs, Game Boys, DSs, PSPs, iPods, netbooks, and laptops—but by far, I've had the worst relationship with my phone.

I'm living in the 21st century, it's normal to have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok, right? Yes, but maybe it's not normal to be spending hours scrolling mindlessly through feed after feed. It's not normal to not be bored.

I was addicted to my phone, spending 10+ hours on it every day. I knew it wasn't okay, but I was reluctant, maybe even scared, to make the jump. I experimented with deleting and limiting apps on my phone, and deactivating accounts, but fast forward to November 2022, I bought my first dumb-phone. I used this particular phone for a month or so; it had the bare minimum - calls and texts - and I had never been so happy in my life.

I realised it was pretty hardcore and I knew I needed a few more functionalities like a camera for scanning QR codes, my calendar, the ability buy and use train tickets, and listen to music. I’ve been using the Qin F21 Pro for a little over a week now and I love it. I’ll make a more in-depth post about it soon.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting that getting rid of your smartphone will make you enlightened and happier. If you're having difficulty managing your digital media usage, make the jump and try something new. If you decide that moving to a dumb-phone is the right move for you, go for it. What works for me may not work for you.

Ask yourself this, why do you want to do it? I did this because I want to live more fully, do the things I want to do without being distracted, create more. To put it bluntly, I don't care about most people. I don't need to know what they're up to every day; I'll catch up with them when I talk to them. I knew I wasn’t going to miss out on anything.

It’s the first day of 2023, I no longer use Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat and Reddit like I used to. Not because I’m punishing myself. I just have no desire to. I text, call, email and write blog posts like this now. Time is precious and I urge you to spend it the way you really want to spend it.

Wishing you all a great 2023.