“Step away from that [smart] phone!”

That is the title of this interesting report in the Sunday Times about the various strategies some people use to disconnect from their smart phones and maintain a modicum of sanity. Here is an excerpt:

Whenever Michael Carl, the fashion market director at Vanity Fair, goes out to dinner with friends, he plays something called the “phone stack” game: Everyone places their phones in the middle of the table; whoever looks at their device before the check arrives picks up the tab.

Brandon Holley, the former editor of Lucky magazine, had trouble ditching her iPhone when she got home from work. So about six months ago, she began tossing her phone into a vintage milk tin the moment she walked in. It remains there until after dinner.

And Marc Jacobs, the fashion designer, didn’t want to sleep next to a beeping gizmo. So he banned digital devices from his bedroom, a house rule he shared with audiences during a recent screening of “Disconnect,” a film that dramatizes how technology has alienated people from one other.

As smartphones continue to burrow their way into our lives, and wearable devices like Google Glass threaten to erode our personal space even further, overtaxed users are carving out their own device-free zones with ad hoc tricks and life hacks.

So, what strategies or tricks do you use (if any) to disconnect from your smart phones or from the World Wide Web generally?

prior probability has taken a more drastic step: we don’t even own a smart phone … we still use a cheap $20 Nokia model, though we are still trying to figure out how to disable the text and voice mail features!

See also: http://statigr.am/tag/phonestack

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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2 Responses to “Step away from that [smart] phone!”

  1. Samantha C. says:

    These are all excellent ideas to keep you off your cell phone especially the “no phone in bedroom policy” that Marc Jacobs practices. Unfortunately, if I were to practice this i’d probably be late to my early morning commitments..lol.
    I love my smartphone. It does a lot for me and it’s a handy tool to have in my pocket. I found that my smartphone made communication easier for me especially because my family and friends are scattered around the US. The constant access that I have, as the owner of a smart phone, has made me realize that there’s a time and place for everything, including technology.
    Even though I do think its rude, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t answer a text or two while i’m in the presence of another person. Similar to Marc Jacobs, I follow my own policy of “no public social networking” while I’m out with someone.I find that social networking can be a huge tool of distraction. From what I’ve noticed many people, including myself, will zone out into their phone at the touch of their FB app, Instagram app, Twitter, or any other SN app. Its a huge disappointment to see a group of people hanging out and everyone is on their phone.
    Although my “no public social networking” policy is not a huge step, I will still continue to practice it for the sake of my actual in-person social networking. lol.

  2. enrique says:

    I appreciate your candor … back in the day, when I had a Blackberry, it was always by my side (night & day) … one way I was able to “step away” (figuratively speaking) was through my travels overseas during my summer breaks — back then, smartphones from the US would not work in other countries

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