Surviving your smart phone

I’m writing this as a survivor of smart phone addiction.  In days gone by, I could spend all day and all night playing with my phone.  This was dreadful for my sleep patterns, my work patterns and my relationships! But, by the grace of God and after incessant pressure from my beloved wife to change, I have turned over a new leaf!

You can actually program your phone to do basic tasks automatically so that it becomes what it ought to be – a useful tool and not your digital overlord! The principles I’ve adopted are:

  1. Make the phone automatically invisible when it should be and
  2. Take the phone off the network when I should be invisible from the connected world.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note, but I presume you could do this on your Android or iPhone too (I don’t have an iPhone so I can’t confirm it!).  On my phone, I installed an app called Tasker.  Tasker allows you to write triggers for events and states and locations on your phone. Here are the some profiles I’ve written (and I’ve posted the recipes so you can do it to your phone too!)

A. Night Flight Mode

This turns the phone to Flight Mode between 11pm and 5:50am each night.  Yes it is awesome because no one can email, call or text you in that time!

How to make a “Night Flight Mode” Profile:

  1. Select “New” Profile
    New -> Time -> From: 2300 To: 550
  2. Select “New Task”, then select the plus sign in the left bottom corner,
    Net -> Airplane Mode -> Set to “On”

This should turn the phone to Flight Mode during the hours you set.  It should revert to non-Flightmode outside these hours.  If your version of Tasker has a problem doing the latter, then put an “Exit Task” of turning flight mode off.

B. Automatic Mute Phone in Meetings

This automatically turns the phone to vibrate (or silent depending on what you want) during calendar event which mark you as “Busy”.  There are stacks of examples of this one, such as on the Tasker Wiki.  My tips for the stock example are:

  1. If you want the phone to “un-mute” when the event is over, you may need to add an “Exit Task” which toggles the Vibrate mode to “Off”.
  2. Be selective in which calendars that you wish to trigger off.  This means that not every even needs to mute your phone.  Instead, I only mute the phone during church and work meetings.

Tasker is a really useful tool to help get your Android smartphone working better for you.  I recommend that you go to their wiki for more recipe examples.

 

 

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