It may be hard to believe, but the iPhone has just been around a decade. While cell phones (or mobile phones) had been around for about two decades longer, it was not until 2007 that the glow of iPhone screens began illuminating our faces wherever and whenever we roamed. During this short decade, the iPhone (or, generically speaking, smartphones) have become so powerful, so ubiquitous, and so integrated into everything in our lives, some psychologists are claiming they are “changing our brains” and are worried about the effects of the smartphone on children. Even some major stockholders of Apple have called on the company to study the effects of heavy usage on mental health.
Are smartphones changing our brains?
Last fall (October 2016) Apple’s chief design officer Joni Ives was asked how the iPhone today differs from what he, Steve Jobs and others believed it would evolve in to. “Like any tool, you can see there’s wonderful use and then there’s misuse,” he said. When asked what considered a “misuse,” he said, “Perhaps, constant use.”
How to stop using your smartphone constantly
1 | Don’t interact with your phone while driving
This means stop texting, checking, talking or anything else that keeps you from being distracted while driving. For example, the Apple iOS 11 mobile operating system has a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting. You can also enable it by going here:
Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls
Then, tap the green plus button to make it appear in Control Center. When this feature is active, you won’t receive calls or messages, but you will receive emergency notifications. You can choose to receive calls from selected contacts.
2 | While watching TV or reading, don’t keep your smartphone near you
3 | Take control of your push notifications
4 | Set your screen to “grayscale”
iOS | To switch your iPhone over to grayscale:
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations >
Color Filters > and select Grayscale
Android | The process for enabling grayscale differs for different models of Android phones, but it’s typically accessed via the “Accessibility” menu.