I told you about my 24 hour digital detox. And I promised I will explain how I block specific apps on my phone. The app I use to block apps (Cliched!) is “Appblock“.
Previously I used to uninstall facebook and twitter on phone and then reinstall. It is painful not just because of the reinstalling process, but I have to manually do the setting changes for like: disable video auto play, data consumption setting , etc etc, on each of the apps. It was a mind bottle neck for my worthy pursuit of digital detox. A simple search on web, and I found App block. It is super easy. I can have many profiles. Ex: I can have a profile for FB and twitter and I can have profile that includes all social media + email + chat + you name any app.
Isn’t it cool? Once I’ve done with my profiles it’s a matter of clicking on them to activate app block. Also, I can lock a profile after its activated. If I want to unlock, I can’t do it, unless I connect my phone to a charger. Very cool. Lot of barriers before you can get back in. It makes me super focused. Have a look at this video.
I tried the free version and I was super happy, went on to purchase the premium version at LKR 675/- ( $4.5 roughly). There are many alternatives in the play store.
For the past 2 weeks, I formed a new habit. Once in a week, I’ll have a 24 hour vacation from facebook and twitter. Which means one day out of a 7 day week, I’ll be out of facebook and twitter. I questioned my self and got the answers. Here they are.
Q: Why just facebook and twitter? Why not email and chat apps?
facebook and twitter are the most addictive time wasters for me. Keeping a tab on that is really digital detox for me.
Q: How do you select the day ?
I select the day I can afford to be off the grid. I select the day I have to be off the grid. Which means the day I need to be full productive ( Or fully reflective) and also the day I can afford to be offline, which is when I feel people will need lesser interaction with me. This requires judgement. I also mention that I am going offline in a post on both FB and twitter.
Q: How do you really stay out of it. What’s the process ?
In my laptop I activate self control app for 24 hours. In my mobile I uninstall both FB and twitter apps. That’s it. I have no access to FB and twitter now.
Q: Uninstalling apps and installing again, isn’t that a pain?
Yes, it is. That’s why I found this wonderful app Appblock. More about that in a post later.
Q: What do you gain out of this. ?
I love FB and twitter. I learn a lot from people. I have the chance to promote my work. I can get help. I can reach out to people. With out FB and twitter I cannot imagine what would it be like to do the work I do.
But, there comes a time, that I cannot just let go off the phone to browse even at the slightest opportunity. That is when I know I need a detox. Then I plan the work and go offline. It’s just 24 hours. It’s not that much of a time for me to miss anything worthwhile in the internet. But it’s a more than enough time period for me to detox and come back fresh.